Rhetorical Analysis of Randy Pausch's Last Lecture Essay

1662 WordsNov 30, 20137 Pages
“Hypothetically, if you knew you were going to die and you had one last lecture, what would you say to your students?” That is how Professor Randy Pausch, from Carnegie Mellon, began his last lecture, a speech entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” while in fact he was dying of Pancreatic Cancer. He knew he only had months left to live and put together this last lecture to read to his students. His lecture focuses in on points such as the importance of: making sincere apologies, not whining, being gracious and being humble. To stress his thoughts and views on life and following one’s dreams, Randy Pausch used a great amount of repetition, metaphors, allusion, humor, ethos, and pathos in his last lecture. Randy Pausch went to…show more content…
” During his speech, he is honest and accepting of his condition but continues to stay positive. Although he knows he’s dying, he’s still positive even through his darkest times. He makes his audience realize that their problems aren’t so big and to enjoy life. Randy Pausch uses Pathos to get his point across to his audience. “I am dying soon, and I am choosing to have fun today, tomorrow, and every other day I have left”. He talks about his kids and how they are the ones he wrote this last lecture for, saying “I only wrote this lecture for three people, and when they’re older, they’ll watch it”. Pausch also talks about his family, and love for his wife. By talking about his family and the love he has for them it appeals to people’s emotions. The reader is able to put themselves in the shoes of either his wife, his child, or his own shoes because everyone knows what it is like to have someone that you care deeply about. The thought of losing that person can really strike a chord and overall creates pathos. Pathos is also established in the introduction of his speech when Pausch is explaining his cancer and how he only has months to live, which is easy for many people to relate to considering there are numerous people who have received the news that their loved one has a short period of time to

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