RFK Rhetoric Essay

Essay by taylornoble9 November 2014

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Taylor Noble



RFK Essay

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) played an active role in the civil rights movement until he was tragically shot and killed on April 4th, 1968. On his way to Indianapolis, presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy (RFK) heard the news and had to deliver it to the audience without having them riot. Robert Kennedy's speech effectively persuaded his audience to act peacefully by specifying what happened to MLK, what MLK would not have wanted for his country, and what he and MLK wanted for the future of the country.

The opening address about the death of Martin Luther King allows RFK to receive his audience's attention and keep them calm. In the beginning of his speech RFK states, "Ladies and Gentlemen…Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis Tennessee." The attention-grabbing sentence reveals what happens and brings an outburst of shocks to the crowd.

Later RFK goes on to praise Martin Luther King and how, "[He] dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings." RFK's praise of Martin Luther King allows the audience to reminisce and think about the good things MLK did for the country as well as the cause of efforts he died for. This helps calm the crowd down.

Kennedy's reveals Martin Luther King's attitude towards violence, ethnic hatred, and the future of the United States and what he would not have wanted. RFK repeatedly uses the word "can" to show the choices he is offering to the country. He says, "You can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge." This shows that the audience gets a choice on what they can do about violence, one being positive and one being negative. He then leaves a negative consequence...