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I Have a Dream: Rhetorical Analysis

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Five elements of rhetoric: * Speaker: Martin Luther King Jr. , a Baptist minister from Atlanta, Georgia, who was inspired by Christianity and Gandhi. * Audience: Primarily African-Americans were present at the speech, but it was heard by many white Americans across the country. * Subject: A call for an end to racism in the United States. * Context: The speech was given on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, in a time where it was very difficult for blacks everywhere, and they wanted to change the way they were treated.

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The civil rights movement was becoming more and more popular at this time. Purpose: To motivate people to make a change. Three rhetorical strategies: * Pathos: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. ” (paragraph 16) This emotionally connects with all the parents listening to the speech. They know what it feels like to want the best for their children.

* Ethos: Because King was a minister, he was well respected by many people. He referred to the audience as “my people” which shows how he shared their same views and was respected by a majority of them.

Pattern of arrangement: King did not use the classical model in his speech. He used exemplification as his pattern of arrangement. He mentioned many states in his speech, including Mississippi, New York, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and others. He mentioned Mississippi four times because that is where the civil rights movement was the strongest. In the “I have a dream…” section of the speech, King gives many examples of what he believes the world should be like. Allusions: Location| Quote| Allusion to:| Explanation|

Paragraph 2| “Five score years ago,”| Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address| King alludes to Lincoln’s famous speech to establish ethos. He also does it because he is standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. | Paragraph 4| “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”| US Constitution| King also alludes to the Constitution to establish ethos. It shows that he is well educated and knows a lot about the subject. It also shows that it’s ironic that our country is based on a document that says something like this, but continues to treat blacks and other minorities like they are inferior to whites. Paragraph 20|

“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. ”| Isaiah 40:4-5| Isaiah 40:4-5 says, “Every valley shall be exalted and very mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. King’s dream is to have the world be like God wanted, not what it has turned into. | Paragraph 29| “And when this happens.

We will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual”| Galatians 3:28 | Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. King is saying that God sees all as his children so all should be treated as equals, no matter the race, gender, or religion. | Rhetorical Devices: * Anaphora (the repetition words at the beginning of neighboring clauses) Using anaphora puts extra emphasis on these specific phrases. * “One hundred years later…” (paragraph 3) * “Now is the time…” (paragraph 5)

* “We can never be satisfied…” (paragraph 9) * “I Have a Dream…” (paragraphs 12 through 20) * “Let freedom ring…” (paragraphs 22 through 28) Metaphor (the direct comparison of two unlike things) Metaphors give a visual comparison of two abstract objects. * “joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity” (paragraph 2) * “the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity” (paragraph 3) * “rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice” (paragraph 5)

* “This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. (paragraph 6) * “sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. ” (paragraph 15) * Alliteration (the repetition of sounds in a phrase) Alliteration is another rhetorical device that puts emphasis on specific phrases. * “Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate” (paragraph 5) * “This sweltering summer” (paragraph 6) * “The marvelous new militancy” (paragraph 8) * “I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. ” (paragraph 10)

Cite this I Have a Dream: Rhetorical Analysis

I Have a Dream: Rhetorical Analysis. (2016, Oct 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/i-have-a-dream-rhetorical-analysis/

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