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The Great Dictator Analysis

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Introduction “The Great Dictator” is a film from 1940, directed by the famous English actor and composer Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977). The film had a direct aim at former Chancellor of Germany and Leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler. Chaplin played two roles: a Tomanian despot Adenoid Hynkel, Chaplin’s parody on Hitler, and a Jewish barber (he will from now on be referred to as “The Barber) who, after being hospitalised for years, returns home only to realise that he now lives in an anti-Semitic country. During the storyline, The Barber and Hynkel are mistaken for each another, due to their almost identical appearances. The Barber is now forced to make a victory speech as Hynkel and this is the point where the plot takes a turn: After much consideration and wistful silence, The Barber holds a controversial speech, in which he completely reverses Hynkel 's anti-Semitic ideas and policies and calls for democracy and a free nation. In this paper, I will analyse the speech Charlie Chaplin makes as ‘The Barber’. The aim will be to point out the main figures of speech and…show more content…
69, Culler, 1997). Since the language in Chaplin’s speech indeed is rhetorical, containing numerous “persuasive and expressive resources”, these often referred to as figures of speech, a rhetorical analysis is in this case highly applicable. It will help determine which figures of speech Chaplin uses to address and affect his audience, but also examining how these instruments are exploited to form his purpose as efficiently as possible. Pathos is one of Aristotle’s ‘Three Modes of Persuasion’. When an author or politician appeals to pathos it means that he speaks to the emotions of his audience. To be able to study how Chaplin appeals to pathos, I will study his use of loaded words and antonymy (as
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