Rhetorical of Analysis of Martin Luther Kings, I Have a Dream Speech

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Logan Williamson
COM 100
Response Paper 3
Rhetorical of analysis of Martin Luther Kings, I Have a Dream speech

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Martin Luther King JR gave a speech to close to 200,000 supporters of the civil rights movement. His speech was given in an attempt to put an end to segregation and untie the United States and equality for all people. It had been one hundred years since Lincoln himself had given the Emancipation Proclamation in that very place, and they were still working towards the goal of equality that day. The speech was given August 28, 1968 during a very influential time in the civil rights movement. Martin Luther’s speech was a very moving and significant and influenced change. he uses many different literary devices to draw in the attention of the crowd and allow them to hear his message.

The first device I noticed the most was the use of Anaphora, the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning. For example the multiple times he uses the phrase now is the time. He says it over and over again to stress the importance to the crowd that they must act now. Change needed to come soon before it could not be handled in such a peaceful way. It was used again in the third paragraph, the repetitive use of “One hundred years later...” shows how America still does not see the wrong they are doing in a time span of one hundred years. It is “One hundred years later…” that America has not changed entirely.

Martin Luther King Jr. is also able to successfully deliver his argument to his audience through ethos. He was an authoritative man, as a minister, he is seen as a good moral leader. He commanded respect, therefore people were more likely to take his side and accept his speeches as the truth. He is seen as credible and knowledgeable and is relatable to the audience.
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