Martin Luther King Rhetorical Devices Analysis

“I have a dream,” perhaps some of the most widely known words that will always be remembered in our nation’s history. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. not only had a way with his powerful words, but also with the way that he carried himself in a professional and highly educated manner. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used several rhetorical devices in his, “I have a dream speech,” but none more powerful than the point he was trying to convey to the African American community and to the nation that was listening.

He would not stop until African Americans had justice, real freedom, and rights. His “I have a dream speech” took place at the Lincoln Memorial in our nation’s capital on August 28, 1963. On this glorious day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made the public rise and made himself one of the greatest leaders of the African American civil rights movement and also one of the greatest leaders for human rights in United States history. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended Morehouse College, The Crozer Theological Seminary, and lastly Boston College.

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As you can see, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had the credentials and intelligence that helped him convey his message of equality through his powerful speeches to the people who tried to slay the ignorance that surrounded all aspects of colored skin during his time. In his speech he uses several rhetorical devices but one that caught my attention most was his use of similes throughout his speech. In his speech he states that, “Justice rolls down like waters righteousness, like a mighty stream”.

Generally speaking this an excellent simile because his strong belief that justice has incredible power and that it would eventually prevail over the racism and hate that inhabited the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was also known best for the role that he played in the advancement of civil rights by using non-violent civil disobedience. The general audience may judge you by the tone in your voice, whether it’s from a supervisor at a job interview, meeting somebody for the first time, or simply having a conversation with someone.

Tone perhaps is one of the most important rhetorical devices and methods that a person can use in order to deliver a powerful speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. uses this device in his speech. While Dr. King was saying, “I have a dream,” you can clearly detect that his speech he has a positive and strong tone, this is visible through video reproductions of his speech or even when read from text. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of intensity, strong willpower, and passion as he was a man who fought for human rights and a better tomorrow.

On August 28, 1963 at The Lincoln Memorial park Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed his vision on how he sees little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. There is a saying that history has a way of repeating itself; Martin Luther King Jr. said, “But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free”. His use of parallelism in this section of his speech is done excellent because the use of his sentence structures which are equal and repetitive.

Martin Luther King Jr. expressed his vision by attempting to instill a sense of hope to the African American community that would never fade from their hearts and their minds. His speech wasn’t something to take lightly as he intended to do everything he said in his speech. Providing the fact that he did all this without causing any violence he will always be remembered as one of our greatest leaders in United States history.

In conclusion, these are only a few quotes and amazing things that Martin Luther King Jr. had done throughout his life. Dr. King’s powerful words and influential speech and speeches will never be forgotten and will always be remembered through overused cliche’s that have found their way into our pop culture. At the end of it all, Dr. King accomplished his goal, which was to give African Americans their justice, freedom, and their rights.

Today we have an African American man as the Leader for our great country, and we must stop and ask ourselves if this could have ever been possible without the actions and inspiration from Dr. King and many others who shared his passion for equality. “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” if you believe in something stand up for it, if theirs something worth fighting for fight for it, because you’ll never what could happen remember it all started with a dream.

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Martin Luther King Rhetorical Devices Analysis. (2016, Nov 14). Retrieved from