Martin Luther King 's Letter From Birmingham Jail Essay

Martin Luther King 's Letter From Birmingham Jail Essay

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Through reading Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, it is hard not be impressed and taken aback by his eloquence with words, especially when you factor in that he is writing this letter from inside of a jail cell. He demonstrates how educated and intelligent he is as he is able to write this lengthy letter, complete with biblical citations and references, from within the jail and without access to any resources (Maranzani, 2013). Through reading King’s letter, and admiring his employment of Aristotle’s canons of rhetoric, and other rhetorical strategies, as well as his effective use of pathos, I have discovered that there are many underlying elements that go into being an effective rhetorician, and King inspires me to improve my skills.
What was the most fulfilling part of this process?
King employs Aristotle’s canons of rhetoric in the form of the arrangement, style and delivery of his messages. The messages are clearly well thought out and formulated, and his word choices are always able to effectively deliver a point. Additionally, the five characteristics of a critic that we learned were that they are knowledgeable, able to communicate clearly, passionate, able to tell us the subtext, and able to educate the listener; King accomplishes all of these within his letter. King always seems calm and collected, both in the speech we watched, and in the letter that we read; he never gets angry or nervous to the point where he stumbles or forgets what he means to say. I believe that this is mainly in part due to his patience; he takes his time to argue his points, and does not rush it. Furthermore, due to his careful consideration of the arguments he will be delivering, King ensures that the arrangement of his message i...


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...your parents to adopt a dog. It is so important to create that emotional connection with your audience, and King has really emphasized that for me with his words.
To conclude, I wanted to reiterate how thankful I am for this course, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared it would be. King is an inspiration. He is a confident, well-spoken and able individual, and I aspire to be even half as well versed as he is when I deliver my own speeches and presentations. By analyzing his works throughout the semester, I was able to clearly see how one should effectively employ the various rhetorical strategies we were exposed to, as well as how to successfully use pathos. While I may have discovered weaknesses within myself in terms of my argument construction and delivery, by experiencing the words of an accomplished rhetorician, I have seen how much more there is for me to learn.

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