Famous Speech Critique

Topics: Leni Riefenstahl, Triumph of the Will, Adolf Hitler Pages: 2 (590 words) Published: September 28, 2008
In brainstorming ideas about what speech I could study in detail, I turned my attention to highly influential leaders in history. One of those people is Adolf Hitler. Even the greatest ideological enemies of Hitler can agree that he was an extremely gifted and prolific speaker. In “Triumph of the Will”, one of the most important films of documentation and propaganda which was directed by Leni Riefenstahl and sponsored by Hitler himself, many of Hitler’s speeches are shown. Not only can viewers study his style of speaking, but we can also learn much about his mannerisms—and in turn, the massive support he received as a leader.

I decided to hand-transcribe one of the speeches shown in “Triumph of the Will”, as few speeches were videotaped and shown elsewhere. The speech I focused on was delivered to a group of young Germans in which Hitler attempts to rile them up to want to fight and sacrifice themselves for their country. While this topic is not a very unique theme for a country’s leader to give to his people, Hitler’s speech is unique in the way he delivers and persuades a group of people. Albeit, his audience was already a receptive, willing group of young minds (easy to mold), however what Hitler was asking his people to do was quite serious. In critiquing Hitler’s speech, it is important to note the history and environment of the time: this speech occurred during the third year Hitler’s leadership and Germany was ready to emerge itself in a full-fledged world war.

When listening to his speech, I realized that the words he used made his speech was quite personable and easily relatable because he referred to himself and his ideas as “we” and made the audience feel as if they played a direct part in the glorification and success of their country. He used a lot of repetition and key words such as “courage” and “peace”. Also, Hitler really made his audience feel empowered—as if the future of their country being “for the people” lay in the hands of the youth...
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