“I Have a Dream” Speech Analysis

Table of Content

How would you feel if you weren’t able to do things in your daily life based on the color of your skin? For instance, your six year old daughter not being allowed to play on the playground, or you not being allowed in the pizza place on the corner of your street. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech is one of the most famous speeches in America. Martin Luther King was a leader during the Civil Rights Movement. He had a dream that white and black americans would one day walk hand in hand with one another. During this time period, 1950s-1970s, it was tremendously difficult for African Americans. African Americans were not treated like white Americans simply because of their skin color. To make matters even worse there were laws that protected the bad treatment of African Americans had gotten. These were laws that required separate hotels, restaurants, schools and even separate restrooms and drinking fountains. Well known activist and most visible spokes person in the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr., in his speech, “I Have a Dream”, he employs the use of pathos, logos, and ethos to call an end to racism in the United States and call for Civil and economic rights.

King starts his speech by using sources that strengthen his credibility and appeal to ethos, as well as building his argument. King mentions “Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand, today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation was a document that declared that the slaves in the SOuthern States were free. In the phrase Martin is invoking the authority of Abraham Lincoln and his views on the civil rights. This is providing a strong ethos appeal and is establishing his main credibility to the audience. Another way Martin expresses his ethos is by mentioning “unalienable rights” and “liberty and pursuit of happiness” all throughout his speech. Martin is saying that the American government has neglected on all the American people. Martin is setting up his own credibility by bring up the constitution. He is trying to guarantee these rights for all Americans. Also Martin states: “Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” Martin is saying he has a dream, regardless of the circumstances and the hard times he is still confident with this dream. He is a passionate person and he is stating in what he is believing in . He is establishing what he wants. This is what he is visioning for the future during the time being. The rhetorical ethos appeals help Martin Luther King Jr.build is credibility in who he is as a person.

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Throughout his speech, Martin also used many strong logos appeals, with many facts and statistics and logical progressions of ideas. Kings says “The marvelous new military which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidence by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.” Here King is reminding the crowd that while institutionalized racism in the enemy, they have allied who realize the importance of their struggle, and they are standing with them against the injustice. Another example of Logos is when he is stating “ but 100 years later the Negro steel is not free 100 years later the life of the Negro is still badly crippled by the miracles of segregation and the change of discrimination.” This is showing the timing overall in how long and how many years that this misery that went on for. And explains how this was a long and dreadful process. Also that it was very unfair treatment program again for such a long period of time. Martin also uses it looks a pill when he states “ architect of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.” This part of the sentence to say how the government was very involved during this tragedy. These logos appeal support his claim the African Americans deserve such as a this part of the sentences saying how the government was very involved during this tragedy. These logos appeal support his claim that African Americans deserve such as much freedom as whites.

Along with logos appeals along with logos appeals, Martin effectively makes appeals to pathos they wrote his entire speech. Maria mentions “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 your skin but the content of their character quotes. This is allowing the people in the audience to relate and connect with him as coming from my father‘s perspective and James we hold for our children. This is applying human appeal that relates back to pathos. It creates a better drive for parents who have children because they can understand where Martin is coming from. Martin Luther King say “ dramatic a shameful condition”. This is describing the devastation throughout this time period. The word dramatic size is saying it is very serious and the word sample is meaning worthy of this grace or something that shouldn’t be happening and something that no one deserves. Another example of pathos in his speech is “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of the pilgrims pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” Having a line of us song is John emotions on the country as a whole, which is making the reader have more of a personal connection with the fact of wanting equality for all. These past those examples help establish the unfairness treatment the African-Americans were receiving.

Could you even imagine living in a time period like this? Any time period for so long where you are getting treated unfairly based on the color of your skin, something in which you have no control over. Overall and conclusion, in Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream speech” he is using pathos, logos and ethos to make people think in a new direction and to persuade them to find logic in unity and togetherness. His goal was for America to become one, and to not be separated anymore. He want equal rights for everyone.

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