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

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

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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. One of the phrases he uses with it is: “I have a dream that one day this nation will and live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” Another is “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their nature. I have a dream today.” (King, M. L. Jr. (1963, Aug.28) Para 12) Two other repetitions he uses is “Let freedom ring” and “Free at last.” (King, M. L. Jr. (1963, Aug.28) Para 16&17)
Assonances in M.L.K’s Speech
In his speech he also uses many assonances and consonances. They are most occurring and mostly found at the end. One of them is “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” (King, M. L. Jr. (1963, Aug.28) Para 17) Others are “molehill of Mississippi”, “Lookout Mountain”, “curvaceous peaks of California”, and “Rockies of Colorado.” They all have the poetic feeling to them. (King, M. L. Jr. (1963, Aug.28) Para 16)

Pathos in M.L.K’s speech
Martin Luther King Jr. uses Pathos in his s...


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...pair”. (King, M. L. Jr. (1963, Aug.28) Para 11). In the beginning of his speech he says “five score years ago,” which is in relation to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address’s opening, “four score and seven years ago.” (King, M. L. Jr. (1963, Aug.28) Para 2). He also uses the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as references. He says, “This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” (King, M. L. Jr. (1963, Aug.28) Para 4).

Conclusion
On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King made his famous “I Have a dream” speech on the Lincoln Memorial after the March on Washington. He delivered this speech to millions of people blacks and whites. This is one of the greatest speeches because it has many elements like pathos, logos, ethos, repetition, assonance, and consonance.



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