Ethos Logos In I Have A Dream Speech

1131 Words5 Pages
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…show more content…
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 process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” (King 853) King is appealing to his audience that though wrongful doing has been done to them, they need to be the better person by not stooping to the level of injustice they had previously had to endure. He wants them to be considerate of others even if consideration was not shown to them in the…show more content…
Pathos or emotional appeal is to make the audience feel what he feels or that he feels as they do. King is not blinded to the abuse and prejudice his people have suffered, for he has suffered too. He also knows that some have just come fresh from narrow cells and some have come from areas where their quest for freedom left them battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutally. (King 853) He understands and sympathizes with the audience in how unfairly they are treated. “I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” (King 853-854) King is showing to the audience that he feels they deserve to be free, that they deserve to be treated equal, and they deserve to be known as individuals. He makes his audience feel like his dream is their dream

More about Ethos Logos In I Have A Dream Speech

Open Document