"I Have a Dream": Rhetorical Analysis

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“I Have a Dream”: A Rhetorical Analysis
Justin Meador
11/5/2012
ENGL 1100

Dr. Martin Luther King had a huge impact on ending segregation and discrimination. But what was so different about Dr. King that attracted such large audiences and caused a change of heart in people that had never known a world without segregation? A thorough analysis of Dr. King’s speech shows that King used a perfect combination of emotional appeal and logic to make points clear throughout his speech. King’s references to Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation and quotes of the men who founded this nation bring people to the conclusion that no race is superior to another and discrimination goes against the “natural laws” that our founding fathers spoke about. On August 28th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. The speech was given in front of the Lincoln Memorial and is known by many as one of the most influential speeches on freedom and the equality of Americans, regardless of their race. Some 200,000 people gathered to hear Dr. King talk about the segregation and discrimination against African Americans in our nation at that time. King bought to the attention of the American people that our country was founded upon freedom and as a democracy we have the right to change laws and institute new laws if it will benefit society as a whole.

During his speech, Dr. Martin Luther King uses a series of metaphors and examples from past experiences to help listeners get a better understanding of the points he was trying to make. The way King speaks while giving this speech really brings Americans together and points out that it is wrong for a race to be discriminated against in a nation where freedom is promised. King changed the hearts of many people, black and white. In a nation where people had never experienced life without discrimination, people began to look at the larger picture and question whether segregation...
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