Charlie Chaplin 's Film The Great Dictator

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Charlie Chaplin 's film The Great Dictator (1940) was released in the United Kingdom in December of 1940 and in the United States in March of 1941. World War II has already started, but the United States had yet to enter the War. The film mocks Adolf Hitler and his allies while showing the hardships that the Jews were facing while living in Germany. The film takes a sharp turn from a slapstick comedy to a call to overthrow fascism and to have compassion for our fellow man in the film 's final speech. We will examine the speech near the end of the film to see who the empirical audience is, how the tones of the speech are used to influence the audience, and what the purpose of the speech is. It is important to know that Charlie Chaplin is playing two roles in the film. He plays as dictator Hynkel, a spoof of Adolf Hitler. He also plays as an unnamed Jewish barber that looks exactly like Hynkel, and he finds himself pretending to be Hynkel to escape the government that is trying to arrest him. Tone Charlie Chaplin 's tone at the beginning of the speech is a mix of melancholy and sullenness. He talks of the ills that are facing the world, of "Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel to little." This is letting the audience know that there needs to be change made in the world. It shows that there is a problem. While in this tone of voice, the audience sees a visual cue that represents despair that is going on in the world. He cuts to a scene of a woman laying on the ground, almost curled up in the fetal position. She looks like she is crying and has given up. This is a strong emotional tactic used to appeal to th... ... middle of paper ... ...e until every good will be destroyed or exploited by those with power. The Great Dictator held a powerful speech that called to unite people for the cause of freedom, liberty, and prosperity for everyone. We looked at the tone, audience, and purpose of the speech that Charlie Chaplin gave to see the rhetoric that he used to persuade his audience. His tone let the audience know the seriousness of the situation and let the audience see the passion that he held for people to fix the problems. He aimed his message to the western affluent audience to get involved in the war. His purpose was to get people to take action and help in the war effort and to be be decent people to one another. He wanted compassion to go throughout the world so all the things that make life great don’t disappear due to tyrannical leaders taking power due to apathy and blind allegiance.
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