Rhetorical Analysis of Nelson Mandela’s “I Am Prepared To Die

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Rhetorical Analysis of Nelson Mandela’s “I Am Prepared To Die” On April 20, 1964, Nelson Mandela delivered a speech to the Supreme Court of South Africa. Mandela was being tried for sabotage, high treason, and a conspiracy to take over the established government; these charges were brought forth during a time a great discrimination against Africans, by whites. Mandela was a strong leader in the drive towards unification and equality, and to this very day is still acknowledged as a driving force to the end of the apartheid in South Africa. Like many great leaders before him Mandela relied greatly on political movement rather than rebellions or any other means of violence, as he described in more detail in this speech. The purpose of this…show more content…
Later in his speech he enhances his already established authority in the movement, by mentioning that, due to his involvement in organizing strike with fellow Africans, he “consequently… had to leave” his “home and family…and go into hiding to avoid arrest” (paragraph 13). This resulted from the unjust laws established by the current white-dominated South African government to halt black progression. This aided in highlighting the importance of the movement in his life, he is so faithful that he would leave his family to reach the objectives of the ANC and its supporters. Qualities like this established him distant from just any other social movement leader. Another way Mandela employs ethos is by using the credibility of others.
He describes exploring with the ANC and makes the claim that he was “met with sympathy… and promises of help” for their grounds in South Africa (paragraph 38). He names a generous quantity of world leaders as his supporters. This respect makes the trial of his cause seem all the more undeserved.
In this speech Nelson also uses a lot of logic and statement, otherwise known as logos, to explain much of his thinking. Although at times Mandela literally convicts himself, he gives reasoning toward what lead him to those decisions. He states that “fifty years of non-violence had brought the African

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