“The King’s Speech” is an Academy Award winning movie based on the life of the Duke of York, who struggled with a severe speech impediment. He could hardly get a word out his it was so bad. Ashamed Bertie, after visiting numerous speech therapists, he left hopeless. He was sure no one could cure him. With his wife’s persistence, he went to see another therapist, Lionel Logue, who came highly recommended, and whom his wife said had “unethical ? methods of teaching. I was totally touched and inspired with this story.
A prince, turned king, overcame something he struggled with his whole life by perseverance, hard work, dedication and friendship. The story takes place in London, and focuses around a royal family who are clearly among the upper class. They lived in huge palaces, wore lavish clothing and drove expensive cars. A British accent is the only accent I could recognize in the movie. It wasn’t until later that I learned the speech therapist, Lionel Logue, was Australian. I couldn’t pick that up. I assume that because he has lived in London for so long, he picked up on the British accent.
To me, a British accent is very distinguished. I know it when I hear it and it’s very easy for me to understand. I actually find the accent quite pleasing to hear. It flows freely and harmonious. Bertie, as his family called him, eventually became King George VI of England, after the death of his father, and abdication of his brother. As King, it was most important that Bertie speak coherently to the public. How else could a King communicate with his public elsewise? Bertie practiced and practiced, five days per week with Lionel. They focused on breathing exercises and muscle relaxation.
Lionel also delved into Bertie’s past to understand and figure out the psychological reason behind his stammer. Lionel said, “no infant is born with a stammer. ? It came about that Bertie developed his stammer at about four or five years old. He was mistreated when he was young. He was punished for being left handed, wore painful leg braces to correct “knocked knees, ? the death of his little brother, and being abuse from a nanny more then liked played a part in his stammering. Lionel and Bertie became friends. Because Bertie saw Lionel five days per week, I guess it was inevitable.
I feel their friendship was the only reason Bertie overcome his stammer. As discovered, Lionel was in fact, not a licensed speech therapist. He had no formal schooling or qualifications to teach. Nevertheless, the King was confident in Lionel, and now in himself after realizing he has made so much progress. Bertie went on to give one of his biggest public speeches to millions of listeners. This was a terrifying moment for Bertie. But he gave the speech confidently and competently, while Lionel silently coached him throughout the entire speech.
Bertie spoke to his audience as if he was only speaking to his friend Lionel. Their friendship (The King’s only friend) helped him overcome his stammer. I was truly touched by King George’s story. As I’ve said throughout many of my class papers, I struggle with an embarrassing “South Philly” accent. ?The reason I took this class was to help improve my speech and articulation. Through exercises, textbook readings, and class discussions; I realize now that we are at the end of the semester, that my hard work and dedication, just as King George’s, has finally paid off.