Rhetorical Analysis of the I Have a Dream Speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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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. This helped him influence his listeners towards wanting equality for all and changing what was happening in the present so they didn't repeat things in the past .

The very title of his speech was probably taken from his use of anaphora which was present throughout his speech. "I have a dream that one day the nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed¡K that all men are created equal." For the next few lines of his speech he repeated these words, "I have a dream," which helped arouse emotion in his audience and give them hope. This hope was that they would one day be treated as equals and walk side by side with the all other races. King uses his the phrase "I have a dream today," twice as its own paragraph. This statement was probably spoken with great emphasis since it gave the listeners the desire to change "today" instead of continuing to be discriminated against. Martin Luther King's speech could have very well been titled something else but because of his use of anaphora which strongly emphasized these words it earned itself the title "I Have a Dream."

Martin Luther King's use of alluding to other historic documents, which also deal with equality issues, helped his speech reach the listener. These allusions were probably geared more towards the white listeners than it was towards the black because it provided textual evidence from past documents which stated that all men were created equal and all people should have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. King also makes a few allusions to the Bible; "Let us not seek to satisfy thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred," is the first allusion to the Bible in his speech.
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