Rhetorical Analysis Of Robert F. Kennedy's Campaign Speech

922 Words4 Pages
Robert F Kennedy was on his way to give a campaign speech in Indianapolis when he learned that Martin Luther King Jr. had just been fatally assassinated. In Indianapolis, a crowd of about 2,500 waiting to hear the senator speak, caught wind of MLK's assassination attempt, but not of his dying. And when Kennedy arrived, he was daunted with the task of informing the crowd of King’s passing. He did not speak of his campaign, but instead announced MLK's tragic death and advocated for peace. On that day, April 4th, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy gave a passionate and emotional speech to the grieving crowd and using emotional language, anaphoras, and personal experience, Kennedy effectively appealed to the emotions of the listener, pushing for peace, compassion, and understanding. To appeal to the crowd and to make his speech compelling, Kennedy used emotional language. Words that sparked emotion in the listener, drove the speech forward and made Kennedy’s conclusions more powerful. One example in the speech is, “what we need in the United States is not…show more content…
On November 22, 1963, Kennedy lost his brother, President John F. Kennedy, to an assassin, and according to “April 4, 1968”, “Kennedy had not spoken publicly about President John F. Kennedy's assassination since Nov. 22, 1963, writes Ray E. Boomhower in his 2008 book, Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary.” The recognition of his brother's death created a feeling of authenticity that the listener could connect with and appreciate. By creating that feeling of genuine emotion, Kennedy also speaks to his authority on the subject, and when he pushes for more than violence and division among races, the crowd takes the words to heart, because they know that he has learned from previous grief. In his speech, Kennedy
Open Document