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Martin Luther King Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Of "I Have A Dream" Speech By Martin Luther King Jr.

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From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial more than two score years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King electrified America with his momentous "I Have a Dream" speech. Aimed at the entire nation, King’s main purpose in this speech was to convince his audience to demand racial justice towards the mistreated African Americans and to stand up together for the rights afforded to all under the Constitution. To further convey this purpose more effectively, King cleverly makes use of the rhetorical devices — ethos, pathos and logos — using figurative language such as metaphors and repetition as well as various other techniques e.g. organization, parallel construction and choice of title.
In the preamble, King employs the strategy of ethos, a technique…show more content…

By doing so, King is treating his diverse audience as a whole, as if they are one body that must help each other and making everybody feel equal. Not only does this symbolizes [Agreement]brotherhood, but also gives King a reliable reputation as he develops a degree of trust from his audience by using the all inclusive “we”. "We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice". [Avoid starting a paragraph on a quote. Instead, create a strong transition sentence in your own words]With these words, King employs the technique of logos, the logic, as he appeals to the African American population not to give up their fight for civil equality. Furthermore, the organization of the speech is also quite logical. For instance, King begins by alluding to history, and then he portrays a picture of a seething American nightmare of racial injustice and ends the speech with dramatic future by painting the dream of a better, fairer future of racial harmony and integration [Maybe a little more on logos]. Subsequently, King exercises the strategy of pathos, the emotional appeal. For example, he uses poignant imagery with a contrast of light versus dark to grab the audience’s attention in his statement, "Now is the time to rise from the

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As almost everyone knows, Martin Luther King Jr. gave many speeches in his day; not just the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Without his powerful public speaking abilities, his message wouldn’t have reached so many people and touched so many lives. Some of his more famous speeches include “I have a dream” and his “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” speech. His  public voice had evolved from his early career as a pastor at his church in Montgomery, Alabama, where most of his early works were inspired by his Christian beliefs. He also was a pacifist to some extent, and built many of his works off the idea of nonviolence and using love and forgiveness to solve problems. In fact, it was his use of nonviolence which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in the first place. The Nobel Committee had praised him for being the first person in the United States to really wage a great struggle without the use of violence. King had mixed feelings about receiving the award. When he gave his acceptance speech, he spoke in a grave tone that suggested he wasn’t happy with their decision to give him the award. He made it clear in his argument that he was solely accepting it on behalf of everyone else who had also made an effort, and tried to remove himself from the center of the situation. It’s weird to think that someone would be upset receiving such a great honor, but he gave a great argument as to why he isn’t celebrating. In the speech, King talked about how although he had made a lot of great strides in the war against racial injustice, there is still a lot to be done. He stressed the point that the fight isn’t over- it doesn’t end just because he got an award for it. He had just made a great start. He was correct; even today, so many years later, we still struggle with inequalities in our country’s social structure. It takes many years of effort, generations even, to completely change the mindset of a whole country.

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