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Summary Of Rhetorical Devices In Martin Luther King's Speech

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On August 28th, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C, Martin Luther King Jr., spoke to roughly twenty-five thousands people attending the March on Washington for jobs and freedom. In Dr. King’s speech, “I Had a Dream”, he uses rhetorical devices to convey that all people are created equal and to educate the importance of the Civil Rights Movement. One device used throughout Dr. King’s speech is epistrophe. Epistrophe is the repetition of a word or words at the end of successive clauses or sentences. King applied this term when he stated, “With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day” (King 3). Epistrophe is effective in this case because it puts emphasis on the fact that the Civil Rights Movement will always work together and will never forget or leave anybody behind to struggle alone. Without this term Dr. King loses a moment to unify the people and emphasis the importance that uniting together may one day bring freedom.…show more content…
King’s speech is isocolon. Isocolon is a parallel structure that is made up of words, clauses, or phrases of equal length, sound, meter, and rhythm. One example of isocolon is when Dr. King said, “Go back to Mississippi, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana” (King 2). Dr. King used isocolon to emphasize to the audience the places where segregation was strictly enforced. The second example is revealed when Dr. King claimed, “from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city” (King 4). This isocolon merely summarized his claim about freedom ringing from all parts of America. Overall, these two usages of isocolon are intended to boost the emotion of Kings’ speech towards conquering the ability to be
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