Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay

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On the third Monday in January, we celebrate a man who helped change the course of history in the way people treat others who are different than them. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an African American clergyman and civil rights leader for who was made famous by the glorious speech “I Have a Dream”. (Norton 1152) In this speech, he spoke of a future where Caucasians and African Americans would no longer be segregated and to not be judged by the color of our skin but to be known together as equal. During his speech, whether he did it purposely or accidently, he used rhetorical devices to help deliver his message to his audience. In the speech, Dr. King used ethos, logos, and pathos to appeal to his audience in an ethical, logical and emotional way. Let’s see where exactly these devices were used and why.
The first device that was used in the speech was ethos. Ethos or ethical appeal is used to help the audience know that the speaker is being fair, knowledgeable, considerate and trustworthy with his words. “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.” (King 852) King shows how this moment will change the way African Americans were treated in the past and how he hopes for today’s generation will change how people see them. He wants them to trust in his words, to know that he is knowledgeable about the long suffering their ancestors had to go through. In another part of his speech, Kings says “But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the ...


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...s. He makes his audience feel like his dream is their dream too.
King was a wonderful man, leader, speaker and role model. The way he spoke to his audience made them trust him, believe him and feel what he was feeling. In 1964, at the age of thirty-five, he was the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. (Norton 1152) Sadly, this hero was taken from the world in 1968 though his legacy lives on. It lives on in the hearts of children of different creeds who now attend school together. His speech used three rhetorical devices known as ethos, logos, and pathos. These devices helped King to show his audience that he was knowledgeable, trustworthy, thoughtful, had great evidence to back up his statements, and that he felt the pains and sufferings as they had. His speech “I Have a Dream” will forever be one of the greatest speeches that changed the world.

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