“I Have a Dream”
August 28th, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., Martin Luther King Jr. preformed his “I Have a Dream” speech. Perhaps amongst one of the most famous speeches in history, this speech is considered one of the most influential speeches of the 20th century. “I Have a Dream” has inspired millions of people and is still frequently quoted and cited nearly 50 years later. My goal in writing his paper is to evaluate King’s speech using the evaluation criteria. The four main criteria are: effects, truth, ethical and artistic. Each plays a very different role in assessing an essay and it’s adequacy.
The purpose of the speech was to inspire Americans to believe that all individuals of all races should be treated equal, and that they would one day. King wanted people to stand with him and fight for their rights. The rhetoric situation was that King was delivering his speech during the “March on Washington,” where a protest was being held. Thousands and thousands travelled from all over the country to hear him speak. The rhetorical constraints of the speech were trying to adhere to those who opposed civil rights. The ones that King really had to reach out to were those who still believed that segregation should continue.
This leads into the first criteria of evaluation, effects. Effects are whether or not the author, or in this case speaker, got the final outcome that they wanted to achieve. The final outcome that King was seeking by making his speech was for equal rights to be finalized, and that all men and women of all races would be free at last. In the first line of his speech King states “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” Implying that King had great homes for the outcome of his ever so famous speech, he not only wanted to inspire those in his audience but to make them as passionate about the issue as he was himself....
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