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I'm sorry but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business.

I don't want to rule or


conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men,
white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by
each others' happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise
one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and
can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost
the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-
stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut
ourselves in.Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge as made us
cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than
machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and
gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The
aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these
inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for
the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men,
women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent
people. To those who can hear me, I say "Do not despair." The misery that is now upon us is
but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.
The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people
will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment
your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you
like cattle, use you as cannon fodder! Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men---machine
men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are
men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the
unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, its
written the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In
you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create
happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life
a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a
chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of
these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise.
They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us
fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national
barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of
reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all mens happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!


The Rhetoric Behind The Great Dictator
Speech
An Essay by Nitcha Tippinyu (5905596)
SHHU 133: Rhetoric for Leadership
In the 1940 political satire film The Great Dictator written, produced, directed
and starring himself, Charlie Chaplin makes a thought provoking speech which
eclipses the fictional nature of film and makes a statement for and to real
society, displaying great rhetoric.

Starting from the context of the film at that time, it was in the 1940s where
memories and effects of the first World War was fresh in peoples minds and the
horrors of the Great Depression was still wracking lives, yet a new World War was
descending again. The American people were hopeless. Perhaps not
coincidentally, Chaplin makes his first talking film after rejecting the idea for
years with a speech that broke away from the fictional story to speak to the
public. In its realness, the film is powerful in alleviating the pessimism, brutality
and selfishness ingrained in the film viewers, reaching millions throughout the
world, and in giving hope to a life that is a wonderful adventure. Although the
speech also presses democracy as the cure to greed, hate and intolerance,
in the heavily anti-communist environment of the US at that time, it was taken
as being too communist and nave due to the focus on you, the people, have
the power, however in modern society today, we can see how Chaplins words
were about hope through kindness and humanity. This message is timeless and
is applicable even today. This is evident when he addresses the millions of
despairing men, women and little children to whom he says Do not despair as
we all have the Kingdom of God within [us] and liberty will never perish. This
strike of emotional words, a strike of optimism, hits the frail hearts of despairing
Americans and is powerful. He pulls attention to power we have to make life
free and beautiful and calls the soldiers at the time to action to not give
themselves, to not forget that they are men, not machines. The speech is
powerful in how it transcends the limit of time as it is relevant even now in the
time when the media feeds off the fear in the world, where unbelievable
candidates are running for president, and when terror is propagated by
extremists, Chaplins reminder to stay true to our humanity comforts people
today as well. However, ultimately, Chaplin is just an ordinary man making a
satiric film in the world, no more than the Jewish barber he plays in power, yet
he wanted to affect real life viewers.

This flaw in lack of credibility is nullified by Chaplins use of voice, especially


the influence from Franklin D. Roosevelt. Chaplin use of voice stays true to his
purpose of satirizing the Nazis and giving hope.

Chaplin mimics Hitlers effective pattern in public speaking to propagate a


message opposite to Hitlers, mocking him. The Great Dictator Speech begins
softly; Chaplin gently voices what hed like: for everyone to live by each
others happiness, not by each others misery. He calmly but gravely explains
how humanity is desperate to be like machines that give abundance, a
greed which has poisoned mens souls. He stares seriously into the camera as
he comforts the millions who can hear [him], including the real life viewers.
But right after, he looks at the soldiers off the camera frame and passionately
calls for these soldiers to not give [them]selves to brutes and cries for them to
realize [they] are men [with] love of humanity in [their] hearts. His stark
crescendo from earnest and quiet to fervor and indignation resembles Hitlers
speeches where Hitler began calmly then roused the crowd with patriotic shouts,
except Chaplin mocks him by evoking humanity and universal brotherhood
rather than inciting hate and intolerance even though he mimics Hitlers
effective method.

In addition to channeling Hitlers voice, Chaplin also borrows the power of


Franklin D Roosevelt, the president of the time, to build credibility and
strengthen his voice of hope to his audience. Chaplin uses Roosevelts theme of
machines and tyranny with democracy throughout his speech machinery that
gives abundance has left us in want. This similarity positions himself with the
Roosevelt and Chaplin borrows the power of the president of the United States,
the world superpower at the time. Through drawing influences from Roosevelts
ideas in a recent speech, Chaplin augments his own credibility and authority and
allows himself to reach millions around the world so the audience accepts him,
making it easier to achieve his purpose.

By juxtaposing the ideas of machines and humanity repeatedly in his


speech, Chaplin replicates how Roosevelt creates an us and them mentality
with machines and humanity as he says the machine becomes the master;
mankind is not only the servant; it is the victim, too (Roosevelt, 1940). By
setting up the admirable traits of knowledge and cleverness as less
important than humanity kindness and gentleness, Chaplin proposes these
qualities as the true beacons of hope in the despairing world about to enter the
second World War, not long after the first. This juxtaposition suits Chaplins
purpose of providing hope by shifting the audiences focus from thinking too
much to feeling humanity, from cleverness to kindness. The connotations of
machines cold, unfeeling, sinister immediately set us, the audience who
uphold our feelings of humanity, against the Nazis, brutes that have risen to
power. Roosevelt ignites patriotism with this comparison whereas Chaplin stirs
the audience to find comfort in their humanity, kindness and gentleness
untainted by misery and bloodshed. All in all, the juxtaposition assists Chaplin
in highlighting hope for his audience, which is his purpose.

Chaplin also utilizes repeated, short, sharp phrases to amplify the profundity of
his messages. For example, the shortness of do not despair makes this piece
of advice more memorable rather than linking it to tedious explanations. Chaplin
also applies logic succinctly, the hate of men will pass, and dictators die and
so long as men die, liberty will never perish and the simplicity of the phrases
allow for easier acceptance by the audience. In addition, the punchiness of You
are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! drives the humanity in the
soldiers and people of the audience, arousing them to not give [them]selves to
these unnatural men machine men with machine minds and machine hearts;
the repetition of machine also driving the sense of them against us. Therefore,
the clever structuring of sentences also augments Chaplins purpose to give
hope to despondent people.

In conclusion, a variety of details such as the relevance of his purpose to the


audience both then and now, his allusions to powerful voices, as well as the
skillful ordering and structuring of words make Chaplins final speech in The
Great Dictator a powerful and timeless illustration of rhetoric.