Martin Luther King Rhetorical Analysis

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil liberties, Rhetorical techniques Pages: 2 (567 words) Published: October 3, 2010
Martin Luther King uses a plethora of rhetorical devices and strategies throughout his speech about freedom, often tying in certain opinions or emotions to them. Three specific strategies he uses are, his diction, his use of metaphors and devices which cast freedom into a good light, and his use of metaphors and rhetorical devices tying dark things to oppression, thus portraying the current lack of freedoms and liberties in a decidedly bad light.  

Martin Luther King uses fairly simple vocabulary for the most part, except for the times where he delves into metaphors about freedom, beginning to use more complex words, before again returning to a simple vocabulary. Also, every time he refers to personal freedoms, liberties, or civil rights he uses larger, more complicated words, as well as rhetorical devices to make such things look good or appealing. He does the opposite for oppression and segregation, using words and devices that describe the oppression and segregation as horrible crimes against humanity, while pointing out how slow the U.S. Is to remedy these large issues. These things give a very clear message about his opinion on freedom, showing how very much he obviously valued it, and at the same time showing his contempt and desire to change the injustices his people were suffering. 

Many times throughout his speech he writes about and refers to personal freedoms and civil rights, each time supporting his beliefs with a well written rhetorical device to help the reader understand just how important these things were. He uses a large number of allusions to the bible, the constitution, and other famous documents which show his learning as well as emphasize his arguments and ideas. MLK also uses imagery to color his arguments, with his "palace of justice", "majestic heights", "plane of dignity", and other images, all of which serve to entice the reader to see his side, his point of view, rather than the point that everyone else saw, the status quo.  ...
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