I Have A Dream Speech Rhetorical Analysis

700 Words3 Pages
In Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream,” Dr. King addresses the nation in the March on Washington during one of America’s most fragile and dark times. King carries on his shoulders the responsibility of bringing a broken nation back together. He attempts to appeal to his audience of several thousand people through his use of logos, ethos, and pathos. King understands the importance of his opportunity; he needs to capture the attention and grab the heartstrings of his massive audience of people from all walks of life.
Dr. King begins his speech with the use of ethos in order to gain credibility with his audience. He does so initially by making the audience associate him with Abraham Lincoln: a powerful, and respected United
…show more content…
Martin Luther King, Jr., uses pathos to make his speech appeal emotionally to his audience. He uses painful imagery such as, “One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination” (King). By metaphorically linking slavery with segregation, King hopes to show that though the physical “manacles” are no longer present, the emotional and social bondage is still very real and very painful for an entire segment of America’s population. Dr. King knew that it was important for his listeners not only to sympathize, but also to empathize with the African American people. As a father himself King knew that it is more difficult to harbor ill will towards a child, so perhaps that is why he includes, “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 the content of…show more content…
Martin Luther King, Jr., attempts the near impossible–to convince a country run rampant with racism that African Americans are human beings, and that they deserve to be treated as such. His speech is powerful and effective; his message transcends time with his ability to stir the moral conscience of the country as a whole while still delivering hope to the African American people. Though Dr. King’s words are poetic and eloquent, they demand action within the hearts and minds of all listening. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will not rest until, “all of God’s children,” can sing together, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at

More about I Have A Dream Speech Rhetorical Analysis

Open Document