I Have a Dream: Rhetorical Analysis

Topics: Rhetoric, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lincoln Memorial Pages: 3 (865 words) Published: March 10, 2013
“I Have a Dream” Rhetorical Analysis
Five elements of rhetoric:
* Speaker: Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister from Atlanta, Georgia, who was inspired by Christianity and Gandhi. * Audience: Primarily African-Americans were present at the speech, but it was heard by many white Americans across the country. * Subject: A call for an end to racism in the United States. * Context: The speech was given on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, in a time where it was very difficult for blacks everywhere, and they wanted to change the way they were treated. The civil rights movement was becoming more and more popular at this time. * Purpose: To motivate people to make a change.

Three rhetorical strategies:
* Pathos: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” (paragraph 16) This emotionally connects with all the parents listening to the speech. They know what it feels like to want the best for their children. * Ethos: Because King was a minister, he was well respected by many people. He referred to the audience as “my people” which shows how he shared their same views and was respected by a majority of them. Pattern of arrangement:

King did not use the classical model in his speech. He used exemplification as his pattern of arrangement. He mentioned many states in his speech, including Mississippi, New York, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and others. He mentioned Mississippi four times because that is where the civil rights movement was the strongest. In the “I have a dream…” section of the speech, King gives many examples of what he believes the world should be like. Allusions:

Location| Quote| Allusion to:| Explanation|
Paragraph 2| “Five score years ago,”| Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address| King alludes to Lincoln’s famous speech to establish ethos. He also does it because he...
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