Martin Luther King's speech "I Have a Dream" delivered on August 28, 1963 is said to be the greatest demonstration of America's history. Dr. King intended to appeal to both black and white audiences through his inspirational speech. Written in a persuasive, stylistic manner, he used strong diction to call for a change in the nation, doing so without violence. He successfully combined the use of repetition, word choice and figurative language in his speech to connect to his audience and set the emotional tone of the harsh segregations facing African-Americans of the time.
Throughout his speech, King uses repetition to leave a powerful, lasting impact on his audience. The use of repetition gives his speech a rhythmic quality and sets a convincing tone. In his second paragraph, King repeats three times, "one hundred years later." He is declaring to his audience the importance of the need for the country to change, because it has been a long time passed since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, and blacks are still being segregated. In the fourth paragraph, "now is the time," was repeated four times. Here King emphasizes the immediate action of his audience. He uses this phrase to encourage the blacks to rise up and act with urgency. The most notable quote, "I have a dream," was repeated a staggering eight times, adding an effective rhythmic fashion that organized his ideas. He goes on to make use of parallelism and repetition as he repeats his spirited phrase, "I have a dream," while adding the different clauses of his dream. Doing this he engages his audience's attention while at the same time signaling to them that all his dreams are equally important. To conclude his speech, King repeats "let freedom ring," declaring to his audience to remember that he is fighting for the country to be equal as a whole: And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let...
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