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Authority Involves Inspiring Others to Follow. Do You Agree?

Autor:   •  March 1, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,047 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,741 Views

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Authority involves inspiring others to follow. Do you agree? Argue your point of view. Refer closely to the ideas and language of your prescribed text and TWO texts of your own choosing.

Authority does, in many instances, involve inspiring others to follow. Those with authority often achieve this through their ability to sway others with the power of rhetoric. In other circumstances, authority is commanded through the use of threat and the creation of fear in others. Leaders may also inspire their people to follow by setting an example. These ideas will be examined in Shakespeare's play, Henry V, Queen Elizabeth I's Speech to the Troops at Tilbury and Bruce Dawe's poem, ‘Weapons Training'.

Leaders have the ability to inspire their people through moving rhetoric. This is evident in Shakespeare's Henry V, when King Henry speaks to his soldiers at Agincourt in Act 4 Scene 3. Henry uses rhetoric to encourage and inspire hope in his men before they go into battle with the French. Henry declares, "Then shall our names…Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered." He persuades his men to believe that they will be honoured and remembered for this battle by employing the imagery of celebratory drinking. Furthermore, when Henry says, "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers..." he earns the respect of his soldiers as he places himself at their level to demonstrate that he is not only there to command them, but is there as a friend and fellow soldier. The alliteration in "band of brothers" and repetition of "we" highlights the inclusiveness of Henry's words, inspiring camaraderie in his soldiers. Henry's optimistic approach and inspiring rhetoric rouses his soldiers and evokes a sense of anticipation in the audience. Similarly, Elizabeth I uses rhetoric to inspire her troops to fight with conviction, in her Speech to the Troops at Tilbury. She displays strength as she acknowledges, "I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king." Elizabeth employs metaphor in parallel sentences to demonstrate the weight of her power and determination. This inspires her troops as they are convinced of the strength and might of their leader and listeners of this speech would be moved to fight the enemy with the same courage and determination that is held by the Queen. Both texts convey how those with authority can inspire others to follow through the power of rhetoric.

Those with authority may also persuade others to follow through fear or threat. In Act 3 scene 4 of Henry V, Henry convinces the French town of Harfleur to surrender to him and his men, by threatening them with the consequences if they continue to resist. He threatens, "look to see / The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand/Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters, / Your fathers taken by their silver beards…Your


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