Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech

Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech

Length: 995 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech to more than 200,000 people during the March on Washington. King's speech was one of the most influential during the era of the Civil Rights Movement and is to this day recognized as a masterpiece due to its effect on the audience as well as for its eloquence and language. Many components went into this passionate speech that portrayed King's hopes for racial equality and a brighter future made the speech as moving as it was. It is doubtful that any person can guess that this speech was written without forethought regarding what goals King wished to accomplish in this speech. Martin Luther King Jr.'s eloquent language was perfectly suited to his audience, both his immediate and secondary audience, and his carefully chosen diction helped to shape arguable one of the most touching works ever spoken.

On the day of his speech, King spoke to thousands of people from many backgrounds. Many black as well as white people had the good fortune to hear him speak and he referred to them all as "my friends." This one simple component of King's speech made the speech accessible to everyone as it was a welcoming gesture that was meant to show that both the audience and King were positioned on the same level and although they came from varying levels of education and economic statuses, King's immediate listeners all shared a common dream, racial equality. This factor most likely made the audience feel that they were equally as important as the great leader in the fight for racial equality. Referring to the listeners, it is also important to note the fact that supporters of changes in civil rights were not the only audience that King was reaching too. King undoubtedly had...


... middle of paper ...


...ple and thus by portraying the image that God supported racial equality and it's supporters, it sent out the image that God did not support racial segregation or it's followers. Undoubtedly Martin knew that this one idea could possibly make some rethink the stances they previously held regarding racial equality.

The speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. to the African Americans and to the white Americans in the August of 1963 was undoubtedly a motivator for many. It is no wonder why a vast majority of people living in the United States can recite words from the speech of a now deceased man. Because his language and diction spoke to all believers in freedom as well as to freedom's adversaries, his message was universal and had a meaning to all who heard it. This continues today. Freedom and equality are something to be attained, for all of us.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

- The famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. at the historic March in Washington in August 1963 effectively urged the US government to take actions and to finally set up equality between the black and white people in America. Although there were many factors that contributed to the success of the speech, it was primarily King’s masterly use of different rhetorical instruments that encouraged Kennedy and his team to take further steps towards racial equality. King effectively utilizes numerous linguistic devices, such as metaphors, anaphoras, allusions, and provides an abundance of specific examples in his address and this all makes the speech more convincing and me...   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]

Strong Essays
1085 words (3.1 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

- "I Have A Dream" is a mesmerizing speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was delivered to the thousands of Americans on August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington. Aimed at the entire nation, King’s main purpose in this speech was to convince his audience to demand racial justice towards the mistreated African Americans and to stand up together for the rights afforded to African American under the Constitution. To further convey this purpose more effectively, King cleverly makes use of the rhetorical devices — ethos, pathos and logos — using figurative language such as metaphors and repetition as well as various other techniques e.g....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]

Strong Essays
846 words (2.4 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

- Martin Luther King’s speech was made after the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. He delivered the “I Have a dream” speech on the Lincoln Memorial steps. He verbalized this speech to millions of people blacks and whites. This is one of the greatest speeches because it has many elements like repetition, assonance and consonance, pathos, logos, and ethos. Repetition in M.L.K.’s Speech Martin Luther King uses a lot of repetition in his speech. They are scattered throughout but very close. One of the repetitions in his speech is “I have a dream.” He uses this phrase to show what he sees in the future of America....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]

Strong Essays
822 words (2.3 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

- Dr. King is an emotional, inspiring and strong speaker. His " I Have A Dream" speech tugs a deep root war of emotions in every American’s heart; therefore, this speech is the perfect display of pathos. Even though pathos overwhelm logo and ethos, they also very much present in his speech. On August 28, 1963 Dr. King made his way to Washington Mall from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial to commit his speech to his fellow Americans. Dr. King commands his speech during an ironic period time of America history....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]

Free Essays
1035 words (3 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

- Rhetoric: "The use of words by human agents to form attitudes or induce actions in other human agents....The use of language as a symbolic means of inducing cooperation in human beings that by nature respond to symbols." If Kenneth Burke is correct, then I would propose that speakers who use the technique of Rhetoric properly will thoroughly "induce" their listeners to action. Perhaps no other speech nor speaker eloquently used rhetoric, amongst other speaking techniques, to evict such emotion, persuasion, and call to action as the "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King Jr....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]

Strong Essays
798 words (2.3 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

- Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was made to thousands of people at the Washington Monument while facing the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. Dr. King called upon Americas to consider all people, both black and white, to be united, undivided and free. His rhetoric harkened back a hundred years past when the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted during Abraham Lincoln’s term as president which abolished slavery and allowed all people living in America to be equal and have equal rights....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]

Strong Essays
1759 words (5 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

- After 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln gave African American slaves their freedom in society they were still not treated as equals. In August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C Martin Luther King Jr. gave the speech “I Have a Dream” that impacted the nation. The twenty-six-year-old pastor of the city's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church had to show the grievances of his people, justify their refusal to ride on Montgomery's city busses, and encourage them in peaceful way. In the “I have a dream” speech given by Dr....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]

Strong Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis of Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

- More than 40 years ago, in August 1963, Martin Luther King electrified America with his momentous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, dramatically delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. His soaring rhetoric demanding racial justice and an integrated society became a mantra for the black community and is as familiar to subsequent generations of Americans as the US Declaration of Independence. His words proved to be a touchstone for understanding the social and political upheaval of the time and gave the nation a vocabulary to express what was happening....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have A Dream Speech]

Strong Essays
1423 words (4.1 pages)

Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech

- On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech to more than 200,000 people during the March on Washington. King's speech was one of the most influential during the era of the Civil Rights Movement and is to this day recognized as a masterpiece due to its effect on the audience as well as for its eloquence and language. Many components went into this passionate speech that portrayed King's hopes for racial equality and a brighter future made the speech as moving as it was. It is doubtful that any person can guess that this speech was written without forethought regarding what goals King wished to accomplish in this speech....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]

Strong Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Rhetoric of I Have a Dream Speech]

Free Essays
1025 words (2.9 pages)