illustration of author Mitch Albom sitting next to Morrie Schwartz, who is lying in a bed

Tuesdays With Morrie

by Mitch Albom

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I'm writing a speech about life's greatest lesson from Tuesday's With Morrie. How do I begin the speech and how do I end it? My speech is about life's greatest lesson taken from Tuesdays With Morrie. But I have no idea how to begin or how to end the speech. I want my speech to be very emotional so that it will inspire the audience. Could any one help me with this please?

Expert Answers

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For an emotional impact, you might begin with a dramatic quotation written in triple parallelism (tricolon parallelism) such as this one from Shakespeare's Richard II (3.3.170-73):

I'll give my jewels for a set of beads,
My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,
My gay apparel for an almsman's gown,
My figured goblets for a dish of wood ....

You might even write your own tricolon parallel based on the topic of your speech. Parallelism adds emotion through repetition of structure, impact, and key ideas or words.

You might also begin with a relevant emotional passage from the book that speaks about the point you want to make. You would read this passage dramatically, perhaps in the voice of Morrie if the passage is completely or contains his dialogue.

Whichever way you begin, ending with repetition will enhance the emotional impact. Remember Antony's speech in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar? You might use the repetition of anaphora or epistrophe.

Anaphora repeats the opening clause: I shall give X. I shall give Y. I shall give Z. Epistrophe repeats the last word of a sentence: I cared for all. I gave to all. I loved all. These dramatic repetitions heighten emotion and make a lasting impression. Remember Dr. Martin Luther King's use of anaphora in his "I Had a Dream" speech? The ending of your speech will be memorable and emotionally moving.

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