Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther Kings “I Have a Dream”

Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther Kings “I Have a Dream”

ITT-Technical University



Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther Kings “I Have A Dream” (Revised)
Introduction
On August 28th 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I Have a Dream” speech which was addressed to not only the 200,000 white and black Americans but people all around the world. The “I Have A Dream” speech has been considered one of the most greatest and powerful speeches in history. Why was it given? Simply to rectify that all me were created equal despite their race or color. In this Analysis I will be explaining some literary terms he used as strategies in his speech, and also explain how Dr. King used two rhetorical patterns to help him support his argument, those two patters are Ethos, & Pathos.

Strategies
Dr. King used many literary terms in the “I Have a Dream” speech such as Alliteration, which is the repetition of sounds. For example he says, “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 their skin but by the content of their character.” The “c” in those three words of that sentence gives it a repetitive rhythm feel which will make that important part of the speech catch and memorable. Also from that same sentence he used Anaphora, which describes the most famous part of the speech, where in this case is “I Have a Dream”. Although he used it many times just buy naming this speech “I Have a Dream” it will make everything he say after that easy to remember.

Ethos
In the very beginning of the speech Dr. King referenced Abraham Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation in saying “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. From my point of view not only did he just quote a powerful man but he pulled in the audience of both sides who may not have been 100 percent for him pre-speech knowing what kind of segregation and...

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