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Speeches

Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech by William Faulkner

Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work — a life’s work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory but — but to make out of the material of the human spirit something which was not there before, […]

The Divine Comedy, Inferno by Dante Alighieri

Inferno: Canto I Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost. Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say What was this forest savage, rough, and stern, Which in the very thought renews the fear. So bitter is it, death […]

J.K. Rowling’s Commencement Address at Harvard University

President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, proud parents, and, above all, graduates. The first thing I would like to say is ‘thank you.’ Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought […]

Commencement Address at Maharishi University by Jim Carrey

Thank you. What are you sitting down for! I was going to milk that for a while. You guys can stretch that out at post, right? To make that longer in the edit. Thank you, Bevan, thank you all! I brought one of my paintings to show you today. I hope you guys are going to be able see it […]

Tulane University Commencement Address by Ellen DeGeneres

Oh boy, thank you so much, thank you so much. Thank you, President Cowan, Mrs. President Cowen; distinguished guests, undistinguished guests, you know who you are, honored faculty and creepy Spanish teacher. And thank you to all the graduating Class of 2009, I realize most of you are hungover and have splitting headaches and haven’t slept since […]

Abolition Speech by William Wilberforce

Never take the freedom that you have for granted. The slave trade is a black mark on Western history, and it can come as somewhat of a shock that it wasn’t until the early 19th century that slavery was abolished in Britain. In a speech to the British Parliament in May 1789, William Wilberforce gave […]

The Tilbury Speech by Queen Elizabeth 1

My loving people. We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved […]

Sustainability by Tonny Rutakirwa

I want you all to close your eyes. I know this is overdone but please, bear with me for just one moment. Close your eyes and imagine the world hundreds of thousands of years ago. Nature owns the earth. Great sprawling forests, huge, seemingly endless plains. Animals roam freely, living the lives that they’d always […]

Quit India by Mahatma Gandhi

I congratulate you on the resolution that you have just passed. I also congratulate the three comrades on the courage they have shown in pressing their amendments to a division, even though they knew that there was an overwhelming majority in favour of the resolution, and I congratulate the thirteen friends who voted against the […]

I am Ready to Die by Nelson Mandela

I am the First Accused. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and practised as an attorney in Johannesburg for a number of years in partnership with Oliver Tambo. I am a convicted prisoner serving five years for leaving the country without a permit and for inciting people to go on strike at the end […]

A Speech, Tonniez Group Holdings 11th Anniversary

Your Excellency, Distinguished guests, Dignitaries present, Ladies and Gentlemen in all your respective capacities, Good evening, We are living in an age of choice. It seems like for every single little thing we could need there are thousands of options, all of them different. I’m reminded of a story a friend once told me. He […]

GRADUATION SPEECH by TONNY RUTAKIRWA

Family and Friends, It has been a journey. There is no doubt about it. Just like everything else I’ve done in my life, it’s been a long way from a straight line. For me, university took a back seat for a long time. I was focused on my business dreams. I had a conglomerate to […]

STANFORD UNIVERSITY 2005 COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS by STEVE JOBS

Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories. The first story is about connecting the dots I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. […]

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS by ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We […]

HARVARD COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS by OPRAH WINFREY

Oh my goodness! I’m at Harvard! Wow! To President Faust, my fellow honorans, Carl [Muller] that was so beautiful, thank you so much, and James Rothenberg, Stephanie Wilson, Harvard faculty, with a special bow to my friend Dr. Henry Lewis Gates. All of you alumni, with a special bow to the Class of ’88, your […]

THE FUTURE OF TECH SPEECH by TONNY RUTAKIRWA

If we want to tell the story of the future of tech then we should not leap into the future. There is no purpose in jumping hundreds of years ahead, imagining flying cars, housekeeping robots, cities in space. Not only is this something we’d only be wildly speculating about, it often leaves us looking a […]

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION KEYNOTE by BARACK OBAMA

On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention. Tonight is a particular honour for me because, let’s face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and […]

I HAVE A DREAM by DR MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of […]

THE APOLOGY by PLATO for SOCRATES

I do not know, men of Athens, how my accusers affected you; as for me, I was almost carried away in spite of myself, so persuasively did they speak. And yet, hardly anything of what they said is true. Of the many lies they told, one in particular surprised me, namely that you should be […]

THEIR FINEST HOUR by WINSTON CHURCHILL

I spoke the other day of the colossal military disaster which occurred when the French High Command failed to withdraw the northern Armies from Belgium at the moment when they knew that the French front was decisively broken at Sedan and on the Meuse. This delay entailed the loss of fifteen or sixteen French divisions […]

DUTIES OF AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP by THEODORE ROOSEVELT

Of course, in one sense, the first essential for a man’s being a good citizen is his possession of the home virtues of which we think when we call a man by the emphatic adjective of manly. No man can be a good citizen who is not a good husband and a good father, who […]

A SPEECH TO DELEGATES by TONNY RUTAKIRWA

Distinguished guests, Members of the Academia, Dignitaries present, Ladies and Gentlemen in all your respective capacities, Good evening, Seems like a rather grand concept, one of those big statements that we all struggle to define accurately. And the problem is, and always has been with people, that we don’t know the value of time until […]

INAUGURAL ADDRESS by JOHN F. KENNEDY

Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens: We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom — symbolising an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and […]