Martin Luther King Jr. Ethos, Pathos, and Logod

Topics: United States, United States Declaration of Independence, Washington, D.C. Pages: 2 (601 words) Published: February 26, 2013
On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King delivered his speech to all of America. Martin Luther's opening line to his speech was, "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." In Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech "I Have a dream", he uses all three of these forms of rhetoric in order to persuade to his audience that racism and segregation is not the plan for the future of America.

            As he delivered his speech, Martin Luther King states, “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the emancipation proclamation.” His use of Lincoln brought authority into his speech. Martin Luther King is bringing attention to the authority of Lincoln and his view on civil rights. This is providing a strong ethos appeal and establishing credibility with his audience. He also uses the Declaration of Independence to bring authority into his speech. He quotes, “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. His use of this quote is to use a supreme authority as being on his side. He is saying that the American government has ignored their duty to all of the American people. He is setting up his own credibility by referring to authority of a great American and our constitution.

            Martin Luther King's use of pathos is astonishing as he appeals emotionally to both races of people. His use of the bible verse ‘“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together,” emotionally draws his audience. He is using the bible as common interest among his crowd and to build a connection between the different races. He appeals to freedom throughout his speech to keep his audience engaged in his fight for freedom. He states, “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” He uses the American dream to...
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