Film Analysis (10 %)
In this assignment for COM 180, you will analyze The King’s Speech directed by Tom Hooper (2010), focusing on what you think the film says about public speaking. You do not have to do research for this paper, but you should make reference to the film and our textbook where appropriate. Please also devote 1 paragraph to a close rhetorical analysis of the speech at the end of the movie (reverse page). The paper should be thesis-driven (have an overall claim) and incorporate proper citation (Chicago, MLA, APA).
The movie portrays King George VI of the UK (Bertie) and charts his troubles with public speaking, particularly after he unexpectedly becomes King after the death of his father and the abdication of his brother. The movie ends with one of his most important speeches, announcing the British declaration of war against Germany on September 3, 1939 (see page 2). Main characters include: Bertie (future King George VI); his wife (future queen Elizabeth I), his speech therapist; his father (who dies); his brother (who abdicates).
Suggestions for completing the assignment
Watch the film with a critical eye and take notes. This assignment is not about whether you liked the film or not (evaluation) but what is says about public speaking (analysis).
Brainstorm using your notes and find main points that you feel are important to note in the movie related to public speaking. Develop paragraphs around these points and incorporate evidence from the movie, terms from Lucas, and the speech (reverse page).
You do not have to do any research, but If you do, you must reference what you use.
Learning Outcomes and Grades
By writing this paper, you will show me that you have understood vocabulary and concepts learned throughout the course and incorporated them into your own public speaking toolbox. You will also show me that you can analyze a speech moment (the movie) and break down what is important into different component parts (whatever you feel relevant in the movie about public speaking). Grading categories will include: following assignment, content/ideas, structure, mechanics and citation using the usual 4 points per category.
George VI’s Speech, broadcast to his people in Britain, and throughout the Empire, immediately after Britain’s Declaration of War against Germany on September 3, 1939. From Gray L. (2006). Fathers, Brothers and Sons (Bloomington: Trafford Publishers), pp. 127-128.
In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, this message, spoken with the same depth of feeling for each one of you as if I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself.
For the second time in the lives of most of us, we are at war.
Over and over again, we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies; but it has bee in vain.
We have been forced into a conflict, for which we are called, with our allies to meet the challenge of a principle which, if it were to prevail, would be fatal to any civilized order in the world.
It is a principle, which permits a state in the selfish pursuit of power to disregard its treaties and its solemn pledges, which sanctions the use of force or threat of force against the sovereignty and independence of other states.
Such a principle, stripped of all disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine that might is right, and if this principle were established through the world, the freedom of our own country and of the whole British Commonwealth of nations would be in danger.
But far more than this, the peoples of the world would be kept in bondage of fear, and all hopes of settled peace and of security, of justice and liberty, among nations, would be ended.
This is the ultimate issue, which confronts us. For the sake of all that we ourselves hold dear, and of the world order and peace, it is unthinkable that we should refuse to meet the challenge.
It is to this high purpose that I now call my people at home and my peoples across the seas, who will make our cause their own.
I ask them to stand calm and firm and united in this time of trial.
The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead, and war can no longer be confined to the battlefield, but we can only do the right as we see the right, and reverently commit our cause to God. If one and all we keep resolutely faithful to it, ready for whatever service or sacrifice it may demand, then with God’s help, we shall prevail. May He bless and keep us all.
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