In this essay
In this essay, a rhetoric analysis of the speech delivered by Nelson Mandela in 1990 at the Grand Parade in Cape Town will be discussed. This speech was made on the day of his release and the purpose of his speech was to thank and salute his comrades and the people of South Africa for continuing in the struggle and secondly to motivate people of colour and bring together the nation.
To Examine the speech closer, I wanted to hear Nelson Mandela’s voice, whilst watching his speech I immediately thought of Burke and his theory of the dramatistic pentad. Nelson Mandela opens his speech with his fist in the air shouting “Amandla! Amandla! I-Afrika he used agency to position himself as being one of the people. Nelson Mandela then opens his speech with “I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all” reinforcing his credibility with his audience as an agent. Nelson Mandela then gives thanks and appreciation to his audience not just in Cape town but across the nation and globally. Mandela is appealing to his audience’s emotions to persuade his argument, there is excitement and happiness around his release. The type of appeal that he uses are ethos and pathos, Ethos is used because the audience is familiar with Mandela’s contribution to oppose apartheid and the price he paid for democracy. The people have also stood with him as their leader even though he was incarcerated. He explicitly says “Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.” Thanking his people for their contribution and implicitly states that he will support his people no matter what the cost. There is trust between the audience and Nelson Mandela. He uses Pathos then to appeal to the emotions of the people. An example of this appeal is when he says “Even during the darkest days in the history of our struggle you held the flag of liberty high” arguing that the people in the struggle continued to be strong even though there was injustice towards them, It makes the audience reflect on what they have been through and to remind them that the time of peace is upon them, In Mandela speech he continues to use Ethos and Pathos as a source to persuade his people.
Mandela continues to motivate his people even though injustice was a continuous struggle. His intention is to keep the hope alive for South Africa’s future of a democracy. “Our struggle has reached a decisive moment. We call on our people to seize this moment so that the process towards democracy is rapid and uninterrupted. We have waited too long for our freedom. We can no longer wait. Now is the time to intensify the struggle on all fronts. To relax our efforts now would be a mistake which generations to come will not be able to forgive. The sight of freedom looming on the horizon should encourage us to redouble our efforts.” In this paragraph he uses amplification to persuade his argument to the audience. He also uses metaphors and simple language to captivate the audience.
Nelson Mandela presents himself as humble “I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you” and loyal and disciplined “I am a loyal and disciplined member of the African National Congress” In the last paragraph of his speech, Mandela makes a strong case of his belief and that he is willing to die for the cause. “‘I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”
Nelson Mandela uses a simple way of speaking to his listeners designed to reach a broader audience. His introduction is long because he acknowledges various parties. He then goes on to inform his audience that he this is only give an introductory statement and will address them in detail after he has consulted with his comrades. In his main points he argues that the past pains have no more future, the importance of unity, political normalisation, He speaks of negotiation and then goes on to give De Klerk credit, Finally he concludes by motivating the people to enforce more support.
Mandela use repetition in his speech, In his introductory he starts every paragraph with “I salute” when looking up the word salute in the oxford dictionary the meaning refers to “a gesture of respect or polite recognition, especially one made to or by a person when arriving or departing.” The repetition is to put emphasise the importance of his relationship with the parties he salutes as well as showcasing that he supports them equally.
Mandela uses figures of speech like metaphors to send an emotional appeal to his audience examples are” darkest days in the history” , to the youth as “young lions”
Mandela used other verbal strategies such as figures of speech (schemes and tropes) including the metaphor (he refers to the dark days of history, to the youth as young lions who have energized the struggle, and to the sight of freedom looming on the horizon). He also used terms that the communist league would have been familiar with including “struggle”, “liberty”, mass mobilization”, “working-class”, “structures” and “democratic practice.”