The Vs. Riel 's Speech Essay

The Vs. Riel 's Speech Essay

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Ever since human civilization came into existence, people have been putting rules in place to determine who is behaving according to social norms and moral values and who is not. Because the majority of Western societies have historically been democratic, it makes sense that the public have a say in the enforcement of said rules. It is for this reason that the trial became a popular means of deciding upon punishment for those perceived to have broken the law, while also allowing them an opportunity to testify against their charges. Socrates underwent this process in 399 BC on charges of impiety and corruption of the youth of Athens , as did Louis Riel in 1885 on charges of treason for leading a Métis rebellion . Although they lived during vastly different time periods, both Socrates and Riel are known for the defence speeches they gave at their respective trials. By examining the various aspects of both speeches, in Louis Riel 's Address to the Court, 1 August 1885, as well as Apology, however, we are able to determine that Riel’s speech better meets the criteria of a strong argument, uses fewer rhetorical fallacies, and is more goal-directed than Socrates’; therefore, it can be feasibly argued that Riel makes a better case for himself than Socrates does.
An augment must be strong in order for the individual who is making it to be successful in doing so. For this to be achieved, certain criteria must be met. According to a BF299 lecture, weak arguments are those that fail to meet the non-technical criteria of acceptability, relevance, and/or sufficiency . By analysing Socrates’ and Riel’s trial speeches using these criteria, we are able to determine that Riel’s speech was better able to adhere to said criteria than Socrates’. Whi...

... middle of paper ... better fits the definition of a strong argument, has fewer errors and fallacies, and actually tries to make a defence rather than provoke the court. Overall, Riel’s speech flows more logically, is easier to follow, and makes more sense in general. It can be argued that Riel’s speech was simply better than Socrates’ for those reasons. However, it also must be considered that students still read both trial speeches as part of a course long after they were written. This does suggest, to some degree, that both were effective and had a strong impact on the societies of their respective locations and time periods, on the study of humanities, and on human beings as a whole. Overall, the quality of a speech is dependent on many things, so Socrates’ speech is not bad, per se, but in terms of making a good case for the individual and his community, Riel does a better job.

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