Rhetorical Analysis Of Robert Kennedy Speech

1096 Words5 Pages
On April 4, 1968 Robert F. Kennedy began his political campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in Indiana. Before boarding his plane, Kennedy found out that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been shot in Memphis, Tennessee. At his arrival in Indianapolis, Kennedy was informed that Martin Luther King, Jr. had died from the incident. Kennedy was scheduled to speak to a large African-American audience, and was advised by the Indianapolis Police to not speak. The Chief of Police warned Kennedy that he would not be responsible for whatever may happen, making this speech even more dangerous. Kennedy chose to ignore the warning signs, went into the conference campaign, and spoke to the audience. Robert Kennedy, putting his political aspirations aside, advises the Indianapolis African-American audience not to retaliate to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination with violence, but with prayer, understanding, and love as Martin Luther King, Jr. taught. This is done through the use of motivational appeals, rhetorical devices, and expressing to the audience a purpose. Robert Kennedy Speech “Remarks on the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.” (1968) explains that the death of Martin Luther King Jr, will affect their community but they must remain calm. Kennedy uses the motivational appeals of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos multiple times in his speech in order to get the message through his audience that went to support his conference campaign. Kennedy uses pathos to begin his speech, when he says the following, “I'm only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening, because I have some -- some very sad news for all of you -- Could you lower those signs, please? -- I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.” (Kennedy) Kennedy touches into the sadness not only he is feeling, but many are feeling. He does this by his usage of the word ‘sad’, in contrast with ‘love’ and ‘peace’. Also, he speaks personally with the crowd when asking them to lower their signs. This makes him seem relatable to the crowd. Kennedy uses
Get Access