1948 Words4 Pages

In Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech” and Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg address,” the two men employ rhetorical strategies in order to show the public the need for a better world. Two men from different backgrounds and different times both advocate for equality. Although Abraham wrote the Gettysburg Address way before Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech, the two speeches are connected through semantics and rhetoric. King and Lincoln both use the same strategies in the making of their speeches. A hundred years and about three wars fall between the two speeches and yet they still are advocating for the same thing in a similar way. With a speech more than 15 minutes long, Martin Luther King was able to capture the vision and ideas of Lincoln and also influence countless generations of families about racial equality and fairness. Although short, Lincoln’s letter conveys his message quickly. The relationship between semantics and rhetoric in both speeches stem from the understanding of the entire message from both speeches. King and Lincoln use rhetoric in order to create semantics in their speeches. First we will look at the rhetorical devices used in Martin Luther King’s speech and how he effectively uses ethos, pathos, logos, and numerous helpful devices to make a point that segregation needs to end. Next we will look how Lincoln uses certain parallel structure and repetition to also address the need for ending segregation. Although the same messages are being introduced in their speeches, some rhetoric’s are different. After looking at different strategies that King and Lincoln used we will look at the intertextual relationship between the two speeches and how they are related beyond their words. Finally in a ... ... middle of paper ... ...The nation breathes, grows, and needs protection just like a child. Lincoln continues by saying “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure” as if he is unsure if the nation can bounce back. Lincoln is sure to incorporate “we” so that the audience knows that even though the nation is being tested he is still a part of the nation. Also, Lincoln cleverly began his speech four score and seven years ago which places the beginning of the nation not at the Constitution but at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the next couple of lines, Lincoln continues to bring the audience together by the successive use of “we” in the beginning of each thought. “But in a larger sense...” Lincoln says “…we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow - this Ground.”

Open Document