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The King’s Speech

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In “The King’s Speech” Bertie who would later go on to become the king of England, has an issue. He has a stutter that he developed as a child. This causes him all kinds of problems, since he is expected to speak in front of groups all the time as part of his duties. I feel that I have a few things in common with Bertie. I would like to go over some of his problems and triumphs and show you how these compare to my own. As well as steps I am taking like Bertie to become a great speaker. “The King’s Speech” is the story of King George VI, a monarch who never expected to inherit the throne.

Born simply “Prince Albert, Duke of York” he suffers from a severe stammer that cripples his ability to speak in public. Several agonizing early scenes demonstrate his struggle to speak, which is something I have seen others do in real life, but not so much in this current class. After Albert repeatedly fails to conquer his stammer through conventional means, his wife Elizabeth seeks out the services of therapist Lionel Logue who is a bit bizarre. Progress is slow, but working although Albert is put to the test far sooner than expected.

When his brother, King Edward VIII, abdicates the throne in order to marry a divorced woman, Albert becomes King of England and with World War II on the horizon, he is quickly thrust into the public spotlight. This is probably more stress than most of us, but in the same all of us will probably have to speak in front of a group some time. His initially combative relationship with Lionel eventually matures into a deep, sincere friendship, an anchor that steadies him during the dark days at the beginning of World War II. This is not really similar to anything we are experiencing.

You as the professor are the closest thing I have to an anchor, and keeping me on track with my speech studies, but not a life and emotional coach as he is experiencing. The film’s makes use of harsh language. In context, it is handled appropriately Lionel observes that Albert doesn’t stutter when he swears, and uses this insight to help advance his therapy, an emotional response or a trigger. People tend to cuss with conviction and with a lot of feeling behind it. This makes him not think of his stammer so much. His stammer is mental and not physical.

The cussing allows him to not think about the stammer and the words come out. I feel that I can do this also. Not with cussing, but with conviction of something I feel for. If I am giving a speech or a talk about something in which I feel passionate. I do not fear and I am more at ease, due to wanting people to hear what I have to say. There is nothing else objectionable in the film, and the use of profane language serves a serious historic/artistic purpose. These are tools, these forbidden words have become momentary tools to get a guy to break out of extreme repression.

In all Albert’s situation is much different than mine. He has a great weight on his shoulders and a greater amount of fear than me. I do feel that we have a little in common in very small ways. We both are trying to be a better speaker. This is about all I can say about that. I am now filling space at the end in case you are wondering why I am still typing. Two pages is a lot to say about a movie and how I relate to a guy. So bear with me and let me have this little filling space at the end. Thank you for listening and have a nice day.

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