Remember The Titans Gettysburg Speech Analysis Essay



American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Remember the Titans" (2000)


Coach Herman Boone: Gettysburg Speech

Audio mp3 delivered by Denzel Washington


Anybody know what this place is? This is Gettysburg. This is where they fought the Battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fightin' the same fight that we're still fightin' amongst ourselves today.

This green field right here was painted red, bubblin' with the blood of young boys, smoke and hot lead pourin' right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men:

'I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family.'

You listen. And you take a lesson from the dead. If we don't come together, right now, on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed -- just like they were. I don't care if you like each other or not. But you will respect each other. And maybe -- I don't know -- maybe we'll learn to play this game like men.

Your Assignment

Your assignment has two parts:

Part A: Compare speeches

As you become comfortable with the skill of synthesis, you will find it easier to make connections between texts and companion readings or viewings. In this essay, you will compare the Gettysburg Address to a clip from a modern movie.

Completing this assignment involves the following:

  • Reading theGettysburg Address
  • Listening to the audio of Coach Boone's speech from Remember the Titans(google it to find it)
  • Drawing parallels between Lincoln's speech and Coach Herman Boone's speech in the audio clip
  • Writing a developed essay in which you analyze the two speeches, pointing out similarities and differences in content, tone, rhetorical strategies, purpose, etc.
  • Incorporating textual evidence from each speech to support your analysis

As you write your essay, use S.M.E.L.L. to guide your analysis of the two persuasive speeches.

How do I S.M.E.L.L.?

As you read and annotate an argument, use the S.M.E.L.L. process to facilitate your analysis. Remember to also ask and answer “So what?” after each question below:

  • S—Sender/Receiver. Ask these questions:
    • Who is the writer?
    • Who is the audience?
    • What knowledge does the audience need coming into the argument?
    • What are the audience’s expectations?
    • What is the writer’s purpose?
  • M—Message. Ask these questions:
    • What is the overall issue, problem, and/or subject?
    • What is the claim?
    • What is the counterclaim?
    • What is the historical context surrounding the issue?
    • How is the counterclaim addressed?
    • Where is the counterclaim addressed?
  • E—Evidence. Ask these questions:
    • What evidence is used to support the writer’s claim?
    • What evidence is used to refute the opposition’s position?
    • Can the evidence be verified?
    • Are the sources credible?
    • Has ample evidence been provided?
    • Does the writer use more facts, quotes, examples, or anecdotes?
    • Which audience would find the evidence persuasive?
  • L—Logic. Ask these questions:
    • Is the writer’s claim reasonable?
    • Are the writer’s reasons logical?
    • How is the argument structured? Which argument styles does the writer employ?
    • What is the effect of syntax (sentence structure)?
    • How has the writer connected the evidence and his or her claim?
    • Has the writer used qualifiers like “some,” “many,” “most,” etc.?
    • Do you see any logical fallacies?
    • What types of appeals are being made?
    • Where are the holes in the writer’s argument?
  • L—Language. Ask these questions:
    • What type of diction (formal, informal, scientific, etc.) is used?
    • Which words have denotative or connotative significance?
    • What is the writer’s tone?
    • Which stylistic elements are employed?
    • Which rhetorical strategies are used?

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