Rhetorical Devices In Martin Luther King's Speech

Good Essays
Martin Luther King Jr was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15th 1929. He was a pastor, activist and the prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement and is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism. He is most famous for his speech called “I have a dream”. It is about not being segregated or discriminated against and to have equal rights between white and black people. It is now recognised as one of the greatest speeches in history.
Martin Luther King used a number of rhetorical devices in his speech. The main rhetorical device used throughout the speech is repetition and parallelism. In each paragraph he repeats different sentences to emphasise what he is saying. He repeats phrases such as ‘one hundred years later’, ‘we can never be satisfied’, ‘I have a dream’ and ‘now is the time’ to make the listener remember the parts he wants to emphasise. It is effective because the people are anticipating to expect it so then they can join in. Also later on in life people will look back at the speeches and remember it for certain phrases because of the repetition.
…show more content…
‘The sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood’ He makes the audience feel as though it is there duty as well to overcome the discrimination and try and make all the southern states of America united and equal. He also makes the audience feel like it is their dream too and not just his. Inclusive Pronouns are effective because it gives the sense of unity within the audience. Martin Luther King also directly addresses the audience which also gives the sense of it being

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Martin Luther King uses a plethora of rhetorical devices and strategies throughout his speech about freedom, often tying in certain opinions or emotions to them. Three specific strategies he uses are, his diction, his use of metaphors and devices which cast freedom into a good light, and his use of metaphors and rhetorical devices tying dark things to oppression, thus portraying the current lack of freedoms and liberties in a decidedly bad light.…

    • 564 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Martin Luther King Jr was an incredible person, leader and writer; he fought for what is right, racial equality. During one of his protest in Birmingham Alabama he was arrested for parading without a permit, it was during that time he spent in jail that he used the technique of writing in form of a rhetorical triangle. The rhetorical triangle was created by Aristotle in 4th century BCE it consist of logos which is logic, pathos which is emotion, and ethos which is ethics. King uses this technique very well to write what we know now as the Letter from Birmingham Jail.…

    • 570 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    “Five score years ago, a great american, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation proclamation.” “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to proposition that all men are created equal.” The first quote was written by Martin Luther King Jr., and the second quote was written by Abraham Lincoln. They both use rhetoric in their speeches such as amplification. This paper will discuss how both of the writers uses rhetoric.…

    • 324 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In his letter from a Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. employs many rhetorical techniques in order to persuade his audience to understand his ideologies. MLK uses diction and pathos, as well as allusions to solidify his arguments throughout the letter.…

    • 668 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Assuredly, King spent a great amount of time doing research and using rhetorical appeals effectively to bring more power and potential to his writing towards the clergymen, since he was a leader in the civil rights movement it was necessary for him to do so. However, other appeals used by MLK in his, “Letter To Birmingham Jail,” may have been effective in his purpose of writing, polysyndeton and pathos were the most profitable ones to convey a strong sense of shame for the audience. While also making the effect of shame long lasting throughout his…

    • 651 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    I Have a Dream Too

    • 1149 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The syntax of a speech can be very important, something that King utilizes really well appealing to all three types of people in his audience; the average blacks who are discriminated against, the average whites who harbor thoughts typical of that time who argue that blacks are evil and the civil rights movement is violent, and radical blacks who think the same. He first starts by making the white realize how blacks are in such a terrible positions and make them feel bad of what they have done, but at the same time hitting home in the hearts of blacks. He goes on explaining problems “One hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years..” Striking home for many African Americans but at the same time causing the whites to be…

    • 1149 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Ihaveadreamessay

    • 319 Words
    • 1 Page

    Martin Luther King’s intention for giving his famous I Have a Dream speech is to encourage his audience to recognize that all men are created equal. King supports his argument through a critical tone and through the use of the following rhetorical strategies: repetition of phrases and theme words.…

    • 319 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was well known for giving many inspiring speeches that had an affect on the American society during the 1960's. I believe his speech in 1967, "Beyond Vietnam- A Time to Break Silence" advances the cause of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement because Dr. King is challenging the logic that both black and white Americans fight in war together but they can not sit in the same seat in the same class together in school. As well as challenging the movement of peace by speaking for the weak or the voiceless.…

    • 693 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Martin Luther King was born on January 15, 1929 with the name of Michael Luther King but later change it to Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King’s father was an American Baptist minister. Martin Luther King was a paperboy and hoped to be a fireman when he grew up. Martin Luther King always knew that black people and white people had different rights. People elected him as president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference.(The King Center) He was a very skilled speaker and writer. He inspired many people with his speeches. His speeches grab people's attention with his great imagination and it touched people’s hearts. His famous “I have a dream” speech inspired many…

    • 574 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in January 15th, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He is known as the civil rights leader who said “I have a dream”. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African-American leader who supported social changes through nonviolent means. He had great spiritual strength and was a powerful speaker. As a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, at Boston University and at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, he had deepened his understanding of theological scholarship and of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent strategy for social change. He was pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama form 1954-1959. In 1963 he was helping organize the March on Washington, he had gathered more than 200,000 protestors at which he made his famous speech “I have a Dream”. After a nonviolent protest against racial discrimination he had addressed a “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to his fellow clergyman.…

    • 579 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Martin Luther King Jr., son of Reverend Martin Luther King Sr., was born on Tuesday, January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. Excelling in academics, at the age of 15, King went on to Morehouse College, in his junior year of high school without an actual graduation, as a result from high scores on his college entrance exams. Graduating from Morehouse College in 1948 with a B.A. in Sociology, King went on to enroll at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, while also studying at the University of Pennsylvania. King was seen as a well-respected leader early on, as he was elected president of the senior class, among many other achievements.…

    • 683 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Civil Rights Address was one of the most influential speeches President John F. Kennedy has ever presented to the American people, and was one of many of his many accomplishments during his presidency. America was experiencing racial discrimination and racial inequality, and Americans needed a leader who would unite them. John F. Kennedy was a sincere, honest, inspirational individual whose duty was to influence equality to Americans. President John F. Kennedy’s address inspires and pulls on the passion of Americans; he wants all Americans to promote and protect and protect the rights that all men are free, he addresses this a sectional issue and that and our task; our obligation, is to make that revolution, and that everyone in America is special and should be treated equally. Kennedy accomplishes this through the use of pathos, logos, and ethos, the use of quotations, and creates an inspirational tone.…

    • 859 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Martin Luther King Jr. is An American Baptist minister and activist who becomes the most spokesperson and leader for a Civil Rights Movement for the african american race Born: January 15, 1929, Atlanta…

    • 55 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Martin Luther King Jr. persuades the reader of the value of civil disobedience by using logos and allusions. He uses logos in the quote: "We have some eighty-five affiliate organizations" (6). This persuades the reader with logos because then there are eighty-five organizations supporting him, it seems logical that what he is doing is right. King also utilizes allusion in his speech: "Jesus Christ... Apostle Paul... Lord... Saint Thomas Aquinas" (6-7). This persuades the reader because the names listed are very well known figures the average person…

    • 88 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929; in Atlanta, GA. He was the middle child of Michael King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Growing up in Georgia MLK jr. he entered a public school at the young age of five. MLK jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 among other honors. One of his accomplishments was his famous “I have a Dream speech” on August 28, 1963.…

    • 533 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays