Examples of Oration
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It survives through long and patient years, bowing to winds, scarred by fire, unflinching in times of lightning and storm. It persists, fulfilling its nature by an upward embrace of heaven. It takes in the earth's good gifts, dipping its roots in cool and mysterious underground flows, then fruits to share unstintingly, nourishing us against our hunger. It is a noble tree, a strong tree, blessing the space it occupies.
Yet tributes go elsewhere, to flashier beings. Even if nests woven from the tree's own twigs cradle beings that later take glorious flight, safely launched from nest to joyous sky -- even then we only watch the heavens. We do not look to the tree. Though it is great and proud, we remark it not.
We are few gathered here to honor my grandfather, few when compared to the funerals of kings and popes. Our ceremony is simple, a goodbye and tears, and, if we are lucky, laughter in remembering him. There are neither reporters nor cameras to take note. Like a tree growing silently at the heart of virgin forest, Elijah Stewart is nameless to the larger world.
This page contains a basic explanations and examples of oration. The word "oration" is simply a fancy synonym for public speaking in general. Most people who speak in front of an audience can thus be considered "orators", but there is one qualifying trait, and that's formality.
An Oratory is a formal, dignified speech that is usually high-sounding, stately and contains elements of rhetoric relative to oratory speech. A kindergarteners show-and-tell would thus not really qualify, whereas a stately serious persuasive speech, or an eulogy (such as the one on this page), can be considered as oration.
Examples of Oration, such as this one below, have a proper and dignified tone to it. Read through this example and survey the notes below as well...
Examples of Oration
No front page obituary is written for a tree, no matter its towering height or the breadth of arcing branches that shade us from a day's harsh glare. When a tree rises it does so namelessly, known only to those few creatures that come to rest against its sturdy girth or stand upon its branches, uplifted by its stature.
We know his stature, though. We can feel the profundity of his life in the measure of our grief, in the way we ask ourselves how we will live without him.
He was tall and strong and sturdy, living only as he was, fulfilling his nature without seeking glory. There was no one he would have turned away hungry; no child he did not favor with a smile; no person left outside no matter the hour they came begging help. He did the things no one else would do, things that took courage, things that spared the rest of us bad dreams.
If his life had taken root in different soil, he would have earned acclaim, for he was deep and talented and clever. You could never best him at a game. He would have been known as a chess master or perhaps the master musician he was. Outside these hills his experiments with plants would have found publication in a journal.
But he grew in the soil of these hills, using his talents for us in anonymity, a mighty tree we sheltered beneath. It falls to us, then, his scions, to laud him no matter our grief, we who understand that it is the patient, nameless tree that yields the arrows that defend castles; the leaves for triumphal crowns; and the strong, straight limbs we lean upon when our own limbs grow weak.
Let we who are initiated into the hidden places of these hills, here where a great heart thrived, give thanks for him, for Elijah Stewart, who, unremarked in the larger world, nevertheless perfected grace and greatness.
Examples of Oration: Notes
As mentioned above, oration can take many forms and need not be confined to a eulogy such as example on this page. The one defining characteristic of oration, that sets it apart from other generalized public speaking, is its level of formality.
Oration should always be stately and dignified and never use coarse humor or inappropriate references. In over-simplified terms: Think of everything that stand-up comedy is NOT, and you've got a good grasp of what an oratory speech should be like!
For other examples of oration, I recommend you read through history's famous speeches, such as those given on climatic moments by Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. or John F. Kennedy.