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Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’S Speech

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    “I Have a Dream” Martin Luther King Jr. ’s speech speaking to his people to assess the problem of segregation and the unfairness of it all. The promises made saying that they would fix the problem only to snatch it away at the last second or to add some kind of loophole that they could find their way around. His goal was to get the people to join together to come to a peaceful solution a solution that would come about without the violence of fights breaking out. King uses Ethos, Pathos, and, Logos to make his point to get his idea and dreams across and he gives substantial evidence.

    Ethos when King begins his speech he uses the same tactic that Abraham Lincoln himself used in the Gettysburg Address he caught their attention by saying “ Five score years ago, a great American, in whose shadow we stand today, signed the emancipation proclamation. ” King uses the fact the Abraham Lincoln one of the good presidents we have had was with the idea of African Americans being free to make their own lives since most whites looked up to him he also uses the Lincoln memorial to back his claims.

    King needed to give the audience of 200,000 people listening to him the proof they needed to actually start wrapping their head around the idea he was presenting to them. That time when Abraham Lincoln was in charge was a revolutionary time he uses that as dramatic as he can which is a form of solidification to make a clearer image. King gives more evidence when he uses pieces of the Declaration of independence talking about “unalienable rights” and “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Kings aim was for equality for everyone and especially his people. King uses emotional and beliefs a lot more in his speech than anything else cause he is trying to appeal to his audience to keep their attention to get their support. King uses the bible in order to get the crowd in the spirit such as “We shall not wallow in the valley of despair. ” King switched out the words from in the valley of death quoting from the bible. King tries to be as loud as possible in order to keep his audiences attention.

    In one part of his speech he refers to the American dream the dream we all think about he wants the same but cannot have it so he uses what they crave to get their emotional support “It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. ” King also uses his own kids cause he knows that every parent always wants the best for their children, wants them to have the life and the opportunities that they themselves never had. King uses logos he says that his people have been given a bad had he uses metaphors to get his point across such as “But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. King believes that they will get the justice that they have been striving for, for the last 100 years. King believes since everyone uses money and some use it to get their way that everyone understands it so he uses it as his analogy. King uses the Blank check and insufficient funds as a way to tell his people that they were getting the short end of the stick and that should change. That they deserved equal rights the same rights that the whites had. King used a lot of rhetorical strategies to get his point across it was a revolutionary speech one that would be marked down in history for years to come and all because of his usage of skills.

    King’s speech was the shove that got the process of segregation moving again after it seemed to have hit a speed bump and stopped moving. It inspired people to believe in new thoughts and ideas of what life could be like if they were all treated equally instead of being treated as a different species. Taught them that the only thing different between them and the whites where their skin color and skin color is nothing but a color.


    “American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States. ” American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States. N. p. , n. d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. <http://www. americanrhetoric. com/>.

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