Preview
Preview

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

No Works Cited
Length: 846 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"I Have A Dream" is a mesmerizing speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was delivered to the thousands of Americans on August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington. Aimed at the entire nation, King’s main purpose in this speech was to convince his audience to demand racial justice towards the mistreated African Americans and to stand up together for the rights afforded to African American under the Constitution. To further convey this purpose more effectively, King cleverly makes use of the rhetorical devices — ethos, pathos and logos — using figurative language such as metaphors and repetition as well as various other techniques e.g. organization, parallel construction and choice of title.
In the preamble, King employs the strategy of ethos, a technique which helps build a person’s good character and genuine authority. By referring to the hundred years span as "five score," and recalling the promise inherent in Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, "This momentous decree came as a great beacon of light of hope to millions of Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity," King not only recalls the former president Abraham Lincoln, but also gains credibility. In particular, King’s illusion to Lincoln, one of the few political figures of American history respected by both African American and Caucasians alike, sets a tone of veracity. Through this allusion, King also sets a framework of honesty and justice in which the white majority could judge the truthfulness of the charges, as ultimately, it is the dominant culture that controls the ability to effect any real changes. Consequently, without the allusion to Abraham Li...


... middle of paper ...


...lity. Furthermore, the organization of the speech is also quite logical. For instance, King begins by alluding to history, then he portrays a picture of a seething American nightmare of racial injustice and ends the speech with dramatic future by painting the dream of a better, fairer future of racial harmony and integration.
Overall, Martin Luther King’s purpose of this speech was to unite African Americans and Caucasians to fight together for the same cause, rights of African Americans. To successfully convey this purpose, King employed several tools of persuasion in his speech. He did indeed present an example of what could qualify as the "greatest demonstration" of arguments for true freedom for all Americans. He employed the techniques of ethos, pathos and logos, and did it with such skill that his audience likely was only aware of a steering toward unity.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech - The famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. at the historic March in Washington in August 1963 effectively urged the US government to take actions and to finally set up equality between the black and white people in America. Although there were many factors that contributed to the success of the speech, it was primarily King’s masterly use of different rhetorical instruments that encouraged Kennedy and his team to take further steps towards racial equality. King effectively utilizes numerous linguistic devices, such as metaphors, anaphoras, allusions, and provides an abundance of specific examples in his address and this all makes the speech more convincing and me...   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech] 1085 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech - "I Have A Dream" is a mesmerizing speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was delivered to the thousands of Americans on August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington. Aimed at the entire nation, King’s main purpose in this speech was to convince his audience to demand racial justice towards the mistreated African Americans and to stand up together for the rights afforded to African American under the Constitution. To further convey this purpose more effectively, King cleverly makes use of the rhetorical devices — ethos, pathos and logos — using figurative language such as metaphors and repetition as well as various other techniques e.g....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech] 846 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech - Martin Luther King’s speech was made after the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. He delivered the “I Have a dream” speech on the Lincoln Memorial steps. He verbalized this speech to millions of people blacks and whites. This is one of the greatest speeches because it has many elements like repetition, assonance and consonance, pathos, logos, and ethos. Repetition in M.L.K.’s Speech Martin Luther King uses a lot of repetition in his speech. They are scattered throughout but very close. One of the repetitions in his speech is “I have a dream.” He uses this phrase to show what he sees in the future of America....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech] 822 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech - Dr. King is an emotional, inspiring and strong speaker. His " I Have A Dream" speech tugs a deep root war of emotions in every American’s heart; therefore, this speech is the perfect display of pathos. Even though pathos overwhelm logo and ethos, they also very much present in his speech. On August 28, 1963 Dr. King made his way to Washington Mall from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial to commit his speech to his fellow Americans. Dr. King commands his speech during an ironic period time of America history....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech] 1035 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech - Rhetoric: "The use of words by human agents to form attitudes or induce actions in other human agents....The use of language as a symbolic means of inducing cooperation in human beings that by nature respond to symbols." If Kenneth Burke is correct, then I would propose that speakers who use the technique of Rhetoric properly will thoroughly "induce" their listeners to action. Perhaps no other speech nor speaker eloquently used rhetoric, amongst other speaking techniques, to evict such emotion, persuasion, and call to action as the "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King Jr....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech] 798 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech - 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....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]
:: 2 Works Cited
1759 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech - After 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln gave African American slaves their freedom in society they were still not treated as equals. In August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C Martin Luther King Jr. gave the speech “I Have a Dream” that impacted the nation. The twenty-six-year-old pastor of the city's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church had to show the grievances of his people, justify their refusal to ride on Montgomery's city busses, and encourage them in peaceful way. In the “I have a dream” speech given by Dr....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]
:: 3 Works Cited
1020 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech - More than 40 years ago, in August 1963, Martin Luther King electrified America with his momentous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, dramatically delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. His soaring rhetoric demanding racial justice and an integrated society became a mantra for the black community and is as familiar to subsequent generations of Americans as the US Declaration of Independence. His words proved to be a touchstone for understanding the social and political upheaval of the time and gave the nation a vocabulary to express what was happening....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have A Dream Speech] 1423 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech - On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech to more than 200,000 people during the March on Washington. King's speech was one of the most influential during the era of the Civil Rights Movement and is to this day recognized as a masterpiece due to its effect on the audience as well as for its eloquence and language. Many components went into this passionate speech that portrayed King's hopes for racial equality and a brighter future made the speech as moving as it was. It is doubtful that any person can guess that this speech was written without forethought regarding what goals King wished to accomplish in this speech....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech] 995 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Rhetorical Analysis of the I Have a Dream Speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - One of the most influential speeches ever given on the earth was given on a potiumat the Lincoln Momorial in Washington D.C on August 28th 1963. The great speech was given by Martin Luther King Jr. who deciatied his time on earth to prove that all people are equal. Martin Luther used different parts of the English language to enhance the meaning of his speech and bring out the details. The different rhetorical devices, allusions to historic documents, and metaphors seemed to have brought about the emotions that King was trying to arouse in his listeners....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech] 1025 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]