King George VI to His People: The King’s (Real) Speech

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching the movie, “The King’s Speech”. As a teacher of English, watching it, almost made me cry.

If I had been alone, maybe I would have. Cried. Cried real tears of pity, tears of sympathy, tears of empathy.

I felt so bad for King George VI (played by Colin Firth). Public speaking is the most dreaded thing on the planet, for normal people.

This man, King George VI, was a stutterer, and he had no way out. He couldn’t hide, he couldn’t run away, and no, he couldn’t abdicate. He was the one, the only one, who could be King.

He was the King, and the job of a King is to speak to his people. No way out…

I didn’t cry. I kept it inside. The presence of my mother in law saved me from those tears. :-)

So, what was so great about the movie?

The Speech. THE Speech. The SPEECH.

It was one of the greatest speeches, one of the best speeches that I’ve ever heard. It almost reduced me to tears…

Count yourself lucky that you won’t be making a speech in my classroom any time soon. You would have to study and deliver this speech. :-)

Sitting here, thinking about all the great speeches I’ve studied, this one ranks right up there with the best of them.

The rhetoric is unforgettable, invoking even the Almighty himself.

“Over and over, again and again, we have tried to find a way out…”

“…might is right”

“…it is unthinkable that we should refuse to meet the challenge”

“it is to this high purpose that I call my people”

“the task will be hard…”

“there may be dark days ahead..”

“..we can only do right as we see the right” (end of quotes from THE Speech)

Ladies and gentlemen, that was a ton of rhetoric designed to inspire the people of England and to prepare them for what lay ahead, World War II…

The moment is historic, the circumstances most dire, and this man, King George, with greatness thrust upon him, after his brother abdicated the throne to marry the woman he loved…

It’s a story made for Hollywood, except of course, it’s all true, it’s more real than real, this story, the storyof the King’s (real) speech…


About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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