Alt Title

Department of Speech

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Powell, Jon T.||Parker, M. Jack||Crawford, Paul K.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Speech


Darrow; Clarence; 1857-1938


This thesis contributes to a broader view of the speaking career of Clarence Darrow than is currently available. It is maintained that current scholarly material concerning Barrow tends to focus on his legal speaking, and thus overlooks other major aspects of his total oratorical activity. In fact, most material relevant to his non-legal speaking tends to be widely scattered and shallowly developed. The areas specifically examined are the debates and religious forums in which Barrow participated. A historical critical method of analysis is employed. The general areas of consideration in this analysis are the biographical influences on Barrow's speaking, with particular emphasis given to specific factors motivating the debates and forums; the specific philosophical premises underlying Barrow's speaking, with an analysis of their development and fluctuation; the audiences and occasions surrounding his speaking, including an analysis of the procedures of the forums and debates; Barrow's use of stock issues and the method he uses to support them; his style of speaking, including speech preparation, stylistic devices, and delivery; and the effects of his speeches, in terms of both immediate and long-range results. The conclusions of the thesis tend to support the promise that any view of Barrow solely as a courtroom orator fails to accurately portray a complete view of Barrow's speaking abilities. In addition to this more complete view of Barrow's speaking, this thesis also indicates that Harrow's speaking was both a product of its time and a molding force which contributed to changes in the social environment. The thesis also displays Barrow's constant attempts to preserve individual personal liberty and to protect the rights of the minority groups. It is felt that it was this consideration which made Barrow's non-legal speaking seem as important as his legal speaking, from his own point of view. In general it can be concluded that aspects of Barrow's non- legal speaking are as important as Barrow's legal speaking. Any analysis of Barrow's speaking which does not examine non-legal aspects of his speaking presents only an incomplete view of Barrow, the orator, and may even serve only to distort his image. It is felt that this thesis does contribute, in part, to a more complete and accurate appraisal of the actual speaking of Clarence Barrow.


Includes bibliographical references.


ii, 97 pages




Northern Illinois University

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