Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Critique

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Lincoln Memorial, Rhetoric Pages: 3 (840 words) Published: November 3, 2013


Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Critique

Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Junior has what critics deemed as one the greatest speeches of his time. The speech has contributed to him being named Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” in 1963 and his Noble Peace prize the following year. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist preacher and so he was familiar to public speaking. But what if he was unknown to us as an iconic speaker? How would we have criticized his speech and his delivery? There are some elements that we can use to criticize a speech. Some of these include: content and structure of the speech, the delivery skills and techniques and the speaker’s physical gesticulations. The speech, like any essay, should have a structure. Structure and content are two important factors to consider when criticizing a speech. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the public about the discrimination against black people. The relevance of the speech was tied in with what were current affairs in the society. Martin Luther’s speech, even though it was not traditionally done as “three pointer,” was structured so that the audience could follow. By the look on the person’s faces that were visible on the video, they were attentive and focused on what he was saying. Therefore, we can assume that his message was clearly delivered. The audience was affected by the speech as one could see reactions such as applauding and shouting as if in agreement to what Martin Luther King Jr. was saying. He captivated the audience with what he had to say about discrimination and racism against his people. Throughout the first section of the speech, he spoke of historical facts that drew the attention of the audience. He then transmitted to prophesizing what he believe could happen in the society, appealing the audience’s emotions as the topic of focus was one that people feared talking about. Delivery is another...
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