Motivational speeches

Luis Angel Vasquez                                                                                                            10/26/19 

English 1101


“Ancient History Sourcebook: Arrian: Speech of Alexander the Great, from The Campaigns of Alexander.” Internet History Sourcebooks, 

This speech by Alexander the Great was used to motivate his troops when he sought to conquer India. At this point in his campaign many had lost the motivation or will to continue. “I observe, gentlemen, that when I would lead you on a new venture you no longer follow me with your old spirit. I have asked you to meet me that we may come to a decision together: are we, upon my advice, to go forward, or, upon yours, to turn back?” he poses a question to his soldiers to insinuate that they have a choice and that he will hear them out if they hear him. He then list’s all the lands that he and his army have conquered together to show them the fruits of their labor and that if they were to stop there would be many warlike people left who would have to be conquered sooner or later going as far as to use his ancestors failed campaigns in which they stopped their conquest. He states “I could not have blamed you for being the first to lose heart if I, your commander, had not shared in your exhausting marches and your perilous campaigns; it would have been natural enough if you had done all the work merely for others to reap the reward. But it is not so. You and I, gentlemen, have shared the labor and shared the danger, and the rewards are for us all. The conquered territory belongs to you; from your ranks the governors of it are chosen”. This is powerful in motivating his forces to keep going because they have been through the trenches and had gruesome battles but Alexander has been they’re with them in each of those battles as a king and as a fellow soldier he also exploits their greed reminding them of the riches, power and glory given to them. He claims if we do not continue then all we have worked for will have been for naught so we must continue.

Theodore Roosevelt – The Man with the Muck-Rake, Eidenmuller, Michael E. 

The Man with the Muck-rake reveals to the public eye the necessity of exposing the filth left behind by monopolies. Though he does not advocate attacking or exposing the filth while adding muck that was never there to begin with. “The liar is no whit better than the thief, and if his mendacity takes the form of slander he may be worse than most thieves. It puts a premium upon knavery untruthfully to attack an honest man, or even with hysterical exaggeration to assail a bad man with untruth.” Theodore is in support of the muckrakers yet with this statement he shuns the journalist who seek reform yet use lies instead of facts,

stating they are no better than the thieves they seek to stop. Roosevelt wants muckrakers to pursue reform yet he believes that reform should be sought after with truth and states muckrakers who try to use slander to advance their pursuit are even worse than thieves and the businessmen they seek to take down. 

Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address with Transcript. Motivation Mentalist, 8 Sept. 2015,

Jim Carrey, comedian, actor and writer spoke at Maharishi university in 2014. His commencement speech while humorous and entertaining told a larger story of self doubt, fear and conformity afflicting the minds and hearts of many if not all people. He first brings up how interconnected we all are to one another how we are all apart of a bigger picture and that our bodies are no more than a container for us to experience creation though, stating our bodies are not what define us. He goes on to say we all have no limits and that the skill to separate reality and fiction has kept us safe and practical. He claims we disguise our paths and decisions in life as practical when in reality they are made out of fear, he uses his father as an example saying his father could have made a great comedian yet made the conservative choice to be an accountant yet was let go from that job. His father getting fired taught him a valuable lesson, “you may fail at what you hate, so you might as well take a chance on what you love”. The doors open when you make the choice to take that risk it is not your job to figure out how it’s going to happen but you have to make the choice. He claims “life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you”. Jim carrey claims faith, risks and choices are the vehicles that you should use to overcome fear and to make the decisions that lead to fulfillment.

Person. Remarks of Bill Gates, Harvard Commencement 2007. Harvard Gazette, Harvard Gazette, 7 Mar. 2017, 

Bill Gates founder of Microsoft and Harvard dropout would give a speech at the college 30 years after he dropped out. He gave this speech to help motivate students to help discover new things and to help others using their education to bring less inequity to the world and to act. He uses emotion to further his point saying he left Harvard more intelligent yet was so oblivious and unaware of the inequity in the world and the disease in the world. This goes to show that yes you may have graduated college with a degree in a certain major yet college does not teach you about the inequality in the world as it left himself and many other students unaware. A difference can be made, especially with the new generation as he points out the access to advanced tools, software, and advanced sciences using logic to say that change is possible, even more so than now no matter what skeptics would like to have you believe. He motivates the graduating class and staff of Harvard to improve the lives of people around the world stating they are the cream of the crop intellectually and showing how he has tried to help with disease in nations across the world. Complexity is apart of the problem of inequity though he reassures them that they can find ways to maneuver around these complex problems and wants them to address the world’s problems and to be a solution to a much bigger problem than themselves.   

The Gettysburg Address,

The battle at Gettysburg, one of the biggest battles of the civil war saw Abraham Lincoln deliver a powerful speech that assured the soldiers that if they were to die there or not they helped fight for the freedom promised by america. 1776 is brought up by Lincoln when he mentions the founding of the United States a Country founded on the principles of liberty and the proposition that all men are created equal, he uses this to remind his men of their cause and to help encourage the nationalists who believe America’s founding documents are sacred and want to fight to prove it. He talks on the death of many soldiers that will inevitably happen during the battle to emotionally connect to his soldiers yet reminds them that they will not die in vain and that they will be remembered for their fight to change this nation. The speech will be forgotten he states but the battle that you men have fought valiantly in will be remembered he says, satiating the greed of some men who will be fighting for greed and not reform. “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure.” He reaches out and put this weight on the shoulders of soldiers telling them that if they were to fail here today it would be a show of whether america would last as a nation united or would fall into nothing. 

We Shall Fight on the Beaches. The International Churchill Society, 13 Apr. 2017,

Winston Churchill, one of the greatest orators in the last 100 years and prime minister of Great Britain from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. He delivered a great many speeches that would help rally British citizens and help them fight back, such as his famous “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” speech at the House of Commons on June 4th, 1940 after the famous battle of Dunkirk. This retreat to Britain would be seen as a huge loss in the eyes of both French and British citizens and troops. He acknowledges the loss of 30,000+ men in his speech to impact his audience and to remind them that many soldiers did die and could not be saved. He goes on to state that they did not and will not die in vain by stating that the Royal Air Force inflicted heavy losses to the German air force of at least 4 to 1 and The navy brought home 335,000+ men using only 1,000 ships. He does reassure that this retreat cannot be counted as a victory due to losses in materials and men but even with these major losses he urges the people to not lose confidence in the British government, as prime minister he promises that the British parliament is doing all in their power to defend the British isles. Lastly he tells the people that no matter the adversity faced “we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,”. With this statement he claims that action will be taken to stop this threat no matter the cost, He wants the people to rise up to the challenge and defend their nation and to never back down. 

Works Cited 

“Ancient History Sourcebook: Arrian: Speech of Alexander the Great, from The Campaigns of Alexander.” Internet History Sourcebooks,

Eidenmuller, Michael E. Theodore Roosevelt – The Man with the Muck-Rake,

Motivationmentalist. “Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address with Transcript.” Motivation Mentalist, 8 Sept. 2015,

Person. “Remarks of Bill Gates, Harvard Commencement 2007.” Harvard Gazette, Harvard Gazette, 7 Mar. 2017,

The Gettysburg Address,

“We Shall Fight on the Beaches.” The International Churchill Society, 13 Apr. 2017,



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.