MLK Commentary: The Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
Martin Luther King was a powerful, memorable, eloquent and educated civil rights activist. He passionately promoted the drive and push for peaceful non-violent protesting. His speeches were inspirational, charismatic and effective and the passion and power in his delivery set the pacing of the emotional experience. He used many rhetorical devices along with his determination to get across the feeling and flavour of perpetuated slavery of black people in the continued racial bias, their rising up against this and the gradual realization of guilt in the white people who stood by and did nothing. He had a dream. On the 10th of December 1964, Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. After receiving this award he delivered an acceptance speech and took the opportunity to convey in the minds of those present, the gut-wrenching and inescapable truth of racial injustice and bias in America and around the world. In this section of his speech he goes on to speak about the ambiguous future of mankind, the things we as a race have to overcome to ensure racial equality and peace in this socially unstable society. In this section of King’s acceptance speech, it is riddled with examples of rhetorical devices. He uses many metaphors to give symbols and examples, and help postulate the current situation. ‘The torturous road...a superhighway of justice...’, this is an example of a metaphor King used in this speech. He embeds the idea of racial injustice being a torturous road travelled by the Negroes who are searching, ‘...to find a new sense of dignity...’ King then goes on to postulate that hopefully this blood stained and treacherous road will be ‘...widened and lengthened into a superhighway of justice...’ as the Negro and White man create alliances and overwhelm the small road as there is not enough room to compensate for all the Negro and White men coming together and overcoming their...
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