Martin Luther King Speech Analysis

Topics: American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, United States Pages: 2 (591 words) Published: October 7, 2007

Good Afternoon,

A great speech can be defined as one in which has some rhetorical, social, political and/or historical value. However, it happens that, in some speeches, the themes and ideas expressed them, transcend the contextual audience, and may be as relevant to modern-day audiences as they were to the audience to whom the speech was first presented.

Speeches in which this is observed include "I Have A Dream" by Martin Luther King and "The Gettysburg Address" by Abraham Lincoln which have been valued and remembered throughout time as being historically influential and valued, as such, as they use the values of their time and audience to inspire, persuade and unite the public with their message.

Martin Luther King electrified America with his pivotal speech, dramatically delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC in 1963, sharing his dream of a new future for black and white people before more than 200,000 people.

King, part of an extensive black movement, challenged the white Americans to extend genuine freedom to his people and drew on all his powers to inspire black Americans to believe in such freedom for themselves. The key message from the speech was, and is, that all people are created equal and, although not the case in America at the time, King felt it must be the case in the future which is why this text is valued still, even today.

Abraham Lincoln, the American president at the time delivered his speech at the Gettysburg Cemetery during the heart of the civil war in 1863. This was to honour and dedicate the new cemetery to the soldiers who had died in the recent Battle of Gettysburg which was pivotal in the American Civil War. The quality of patriotism is seen in Lincoln's allusion to the Declaration of Independence and constant references to democratic ideals.

So what were their compositional strategies and techniques??

King's speech is particularly visual with its...
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