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Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was made to thousands of people at the Washington Monument while facing the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. Dr. King called upon Americas to consider all people, both black and white, to be united, undivided and free. His rhetoric harkened back a hundred years past when the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted during Abraham Lincoln’s term as president which abolished slavery and allowed all people living in America to be equal and have equal rights. Unfortunately, in 1963, America had lost sight of this key Constitutional component instilled in the lives of many. For many years, African Americans suffered from persecution and segregation in a class-oriented society. Martin Luther King, a preacher, born in Atlanta, Georgia, tore down racial barriers that blocked effective communication in a society that ultimately led to mistreatment of high-ranking citizens. His speech brought inspiration and hope to not only African Americans, but white communities as well. His precise diction and passionate words reflected a humble and principled demeanor, which led him to deliver a message to the American people, considered as one of the greatest events in history (“Dream,” n.d.). An ordinary man, Martin Luther King Jr had an extraordinary message in his speech “I Have A Dream” that called for human equality and changed social justice, that impacted Americans for many generations to come by using Aristotle’s literary devices of ethos, pathos, and logos, historical and literary references, metaphors, and poetic devices.

First, Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream” accomplished what the founding fathers in American history could not: a call for all people to receive ...


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...cted his message. Since then, segregation in all public places that includes America’s schools and government institutions has been abolished. African Americans commonly receive scholarships and equal opportunity for employment. America also elected the first black president of the United States, Barrack Obama. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech fulfilled his vision of human equality. His focus on the ordinary man to achieve extraordinary things is much like the stamp of his own character as a gift to the masses he would never personally know.





References

King, M.L. Jr. (1963, August 28). I have a dream—address at March on Washington. Martin Luther King Speeches. Retrieved from http://www.mlkonline.net/dream.html

Martin Luther King Online (Producer) I have a dream speech video. Retrieved from http://www.mlkonline.net/video-i-have-a-dream-speech.html


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