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Trump, T'Challa, and Shakespeare: How Do Speeches Incite Collective Action?

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In this Folger lesson, students will consider 4 speeches that incite(d) groups to take bold, sometimes violent, action: President Donald Trump’s January 6th address, Antony’s funeral speech in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, King T’Challa’s United Nations address in Black Panther, and Henry V’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech in Shakespeare’s Henry V. Students will use their voices and minds to analyze how these speeches work, which techniques they use to influence the crowds they are addressing.

They will also reflect on the real-world impact of political speeches and imagine what they might say if given the chance to influence a national and global audience.

Now more than ever, our young people need our help understanding the power of language and the tools at their disposal as audiences and rhetors.

For more lessons like this, visit www.folger.edu or teaching.folger.edu, our online universe for teachers. 

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