The language of eulogies

Essay by thesip July 2008

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The language I researched was the language of eulogies. I wanted to understand what emotive language is used in eulogies and what it expresses. I also researched the sound techniques and parallel structure and the reasons they are used. I used three eulogies to help with my research they were; Martin Luther King’s eulogy done by Robert F Kennedy who was trying to diffuse a very volatile situation and make they audience feel like he was in the same position as them.

Sir Edmund Hillary’s eulogy done by Helen Clark who represented the whole nation and expressed their grief for a man who attained such greatness in an unassuming way.

Queen Victoria’s eulogy done by Rev. Dr H Pereira Mendes who admired the womanly attributes, character and especially her strength, forthrightness and fairness in removing the last civil disabilities against Jews in England.

What emotive language is used in eulogies and what does it express?Emotive language is used in eulogies to provoke a particular emotional response in the audience.

In Martin Luther Kings eulogy emotive language used is “you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred and desire for revenge.” This expresses and brings an understanding of death and coming to terms with emotions the black people had on Martin Luther King’s death but Kennedy made sure he offered them an alternative of comparison and non violence.

Emotive language is also used in Sir Edmund Hillary’s eulogy. For example “we mourn as a nation,” and “living legend.” These sentences express the audience emotions on Sir Edmund Hillary and make the audience feel like they are part of what Helen Clark is speaking about.

I also found emotive language in Queen Victoria’s eulogy. “Her heart so large that it took in nations and embraced the myriads...