The King’s Speech Summary
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The King’s Speech is based on the diaries and notes of a speech therapist who helped King George VI overcome speech difficulties after his ascent to the throne. It outlines the ways in which the reluctant king was able to transform his speech difficulties and interact with his subjects without difficulty.
King George V is hard on his sons, but especially his younger son. He is shy and develops a stutter that prevents him from speaking out in public. When George embraced radio as the new media of the day, it added a further element of communication that the monarchy had never experienced.
Albert, or “Bertie” as he was known until he ascended the throne, was never meant to be king, but when his older brother Edward falls in love with a divorced socialite, he is unable to marry her within the Church of England. He chooses to abdicate his throne to be with her. When he does, Bertie becomes King and is faced with the biggest dilemma of his life.
Enter Lionel Logue, a self-taught speech therapist from Australia. He was a commoner; that he was able to entertain the king of England as a client is almost unbelievable. The King himself wasnot convinced at first, but through trial and error, Logue was able to tease out some of the root causes of his dysfunction.
Logue was able to turn King George VI into one of England’s most beloved Kings through his work. The King’s wife was instrumental in encouraging him to attend the therapies. Although they initially avoided the word “therapy” and instead rehearsed and prepared speeches, the two become friends over the course of Logue’s directions and remained so throughout their lives.
According to the journals, Logue is untrained and got his start by helping Australian soldiers returning after the war. Part of Logue’s appeal is that he is unimpressed by the throne and by George’s titles. He is able to give him the confidence he needs to speak without direction or coaching, first among his circle of friends and later among royalty. It culminates in his address to the public in which he is able to deliver a speech without any major issue.
The book highlights just how challenging it was for King George VI to live under the thumb of his father. This early childhood difficulty played a huge role in his struggle with speech, and Logue rightfully identified that the problem was less physiology and more psychology. Through a series of tasks meant to distract him from listening to the sound of his own voice, Logue shows the king that he is capable of speech, not just passably, but of speaking well.
The book was written by Logue’s grandson, Mark, along with Peter Conradi. It shows for the first time some of the difficulty the young king faced, and the unorthodox treatments Logue practiced. He rightly understood that speech is largely function of the mind, and his lessons involved humor and sympathy.
Because of this, the act of communication is a huge part of the book. It is not just about the physiology of communication, but the ways in which our perceptions of ourselves affect what we are able to do with our communication. Logue was successful with the King in part because he understood the psychological root behind his speech difficulties. Once he did that, it was easier to retrain the King’s mouth and tongue to produce the sounds.
The King’s problem is something that we can all relate to. It is difficult to connect to other people, and sometimes we feel that we do not belong or do not deserve the position we have. When that happens, it impedes our speech in different ways. For the King, it manifested in a physical speech problem.
Another theme of the book is the duty everyone faces in making sure this transformation happens. King George VI cannot relinquish his responsibilities as king, and so he must come to terms with his own hang-ups and overcome. Logue cannot fail with the king because this could make or break his career and his reputation is on the line.
The story is also about the power of friendship. In the 1930s, the king’s station was far above ordinary British citizens, and even farther above the commonwealth of the colonies. Logue was Australian, not even on the same level as British citizens; that they were able to maintain a friendship in spite of their differences in social class is nothing short of extraordinary.
The King’s Speech is a remarkable look into the private life of a king who later became one of England’s most beloved monarchs. His transformation from painful speaker to a king able to deliver speeches to rally a wartime England is a reminder that through perseverance, the human spirit is capable of overcoming any obstacle.
The King's Speech Analytical Essay
1110 WordsOct 23rd, 20125 Pages
God Save The King’s Speech Academy award winning film, The King’s Speech, is a motivational movie where voice and courage become a matter of life and death. Prince Albert, later known as King George VI (Colin Firth), stammers excessively and uncontrollably through his inaugural speech closing the 1925 British Empire Exhibition due to a speech impediment. After finishing such a disappointing speech, Prince Albert decides to give up on himself and accept his fate as a stammering heir to the throne. However, his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), enlists him to see an Aussie speech therapist that goes by the name of Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) whose “Antipodean methods are known to be ‘unorthodox’ and ‘controversial,’” (“The King’s…show more content…
Bertie, is seen as a soon-to-be agonizing heir to the throne because he lacks communication skills. The only thing stopping Prince Albert is himself. In the movie he states: “If I'm King, where's my power? Can I form a government? Can I levy a tax, declare a war? No! And yet I am the seat of all authority. Why? Because the nation believes that when I speak, I speak for them. But I can't speak”(“The King’s Speech (2010)”). Prince Albert was a troubled child who was repressed of using his left hand, possessed knock-knees, had an abusive nanny and a death of a brother at an early age. As time passed, Prince Albert never grew out of his comfort zone and continued to speak poorly. Because Prince Albert speaks of himself that way, we can assume that communication is essential in leading a nation and is a foundation for personal life, relationships, professional success and civic life. By saying that a nation believes when he speaks, one can generally expect a leader for any reason or cause to possess great speaking skills in order to be prosperous. The old phrase, “actions speak louder than words” had never been so true such as in the case of Prince Albert. The Duke of York lacks nonverbal behavior greatly in the sense that he has no self esteem therefore, making him a statue when he speaks. “I have received from his Majesty the K-K-K-King”(“The King’s Speech (2010)”) were the