Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Eulogy for Robert F. Kennedy/ Political Persuasion



In the photo above, Ted Kennedy is giving the eulogy of his brother. If the speech was more focused on the fond memories of family and brotherhood, the Ted Kennedy should look more emotional. However, he chose to remember him through a motivational speech that Robert F. Kennedy gave. Thus, he only has a plainly concerned fa├žade.

Edward Kennedy gives the eulogy of his brother, American politician, Democratic Senator from New York, Robert Kennedy. This was such a loss for him, being the second time he lost a brother by assassination. With this emotional loss, he gave the eulogy at the funeral on June 8, 1968 at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. However, his eulogy consisted of lengthy quotes from his brother’s political accomplishments rather than some classic, family memories. Ted Kennedy quoted Robert Kennedy’s achievements in order to remind Americans how he lived and leaves them from a political standpoint.
The eulogy was recorded in film, and so his funeral was seen by most Americans. In the following video, the recording excludes the majority of the speech, but kept focus on the beginning and very end. But what Ted Kennedy said during the main point of his speech was an extensive quote on R.F.K.’s speech to the young people of South Africa on their Day of Affirmation in 1966. It began with,” There is discrimination in this world and slavery and slaughter and starvation. Governments repress their people; millions are trapped in poverty while the nation grows rich and wealth is lavished on armaments everywhere.” (American Rhetoric). R.F.K . was trying to acknowledge that yes, there were terrible evils in the world, but he would continue to say in his speech that “they are the common works of man”. While this was a motivational idea to the people of South Africa, it did not demonstrate emotional ideas for a eulogy. Instead, it impacted the political idea of self- reliability and promoted acts of change.

During the eulogy, this speech continued for the majority. Ted Kennedy left it by saying, “That is the way he lived. That is what he leaves us” (Edward Kennedy). The speech Robert Kennedy gave was to the South African people on their Day of Affirmation, so it does not fit the purpose of remembrance in his eulogy. He finished it by trying to get America to remember how he lived, how he tried to get rights for underprivileged people of America.

Near the end, Ted Kennedy told the country that “my brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.” Clearly, he just used his eulogy of his brother with a major ideal of civil rights and almost denied it by stating that his brother need not be idealized.

Ted Kennedy had a rough time grieving his brothers’ deaths, yet remembered Robert F. Kennedy’s political goals in his eulogy to America.




Work Cited

Kennedy, Edward. "American Rhetoric: Edward M. Kennedy - Eulogy for Robert F. Kennedy." American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States. Web. 06 Oct. 2010. .

Works Consulted

Kennedy, Robert F. "Day of Affirmation Address (news Release Text Version) - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum." Home - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. Web. 06 Oct. 2010. .

"Ted Kennedy's Eulogy for RFK." CBS News. 3 Oct. 2010. Web. 5 Oct. 2010.
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