Speech Case Study I Have a Dream

Topics: I Have a Dream, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rhetoric Pages: 14 (5713 words) Published: March 27, 2011
"I Have a Dream" Analysis: Figurative LanguageQuote: "I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream." Metaphor: The American dream is indirectly compared to rich soil, a soil in which King has planted his dream of racial equality. Analysis: King reiterates that his dream is no different than the dream of the Founding Fathers. His dream receives its legitimacy from the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution to which King refers earlier in the speech. Quote: "This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children." Metaphor: Inaction is compared to a luxury that civil rights workers must not purchase. Gradual change is compared to tranquilizers. Segregation is compared to a desolate valley. Racial Justice is compared to a sunlit path. Racial injustice is compared to quicksand. Brotherhood is compared to solid rock. Analysis: King understood human nature. He understood the natural human tendency to relax once things are going well. He urges his followers not to relax. The fight is not over (anyone who's played high school sports has probably heard something similar from a coach). The situation is urgent and to delay is death Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/88990.aspx?p=2#ixzz1Gf6mYy6F

"I have a dream speech"
The "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King is recognised as one of the best speeches ever given. Here Stevie Edwards looks at what makes it so memorable. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech – what makes it memorable? More than 40 years ago, in August 1963, Martin Luther King electrified America with his momentous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, dramatically delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. His soaring rhetoric demanding racial justice and an integrated society became a mantra for the black community and is as familiar to subsequent generations of Americans as the US Declaration of Independence. His words proved to be a touchstone for understanding the social and political upheaval of the time and gave the nation a vocabulary to express what was happening. The key message in the speech is that all people are created equal and, although not the case in America at the time, King felt it must be the case for the future. He argued passionately and powerfully. So what were his compositional strategies and techniques?

Certainly King’s speech was well researched. In preparation he studied the Bible, The Gettysburg Address and the US Declaration of Independence and he alludes to all three in his address. Stylistically the speech has been described as a political treatise, a work of poetry, and a masterfully delivered and improvised sermon, bursting with biblical language and imagery. As well as rhythm and frequent repetition, alliteration is a hallmark device, used to bang home key points. The format is simple – always an aid to memorability! It falls into two parts. The first half portrays not an idealised American dream but a picture of a seething American nightmare of racial injustice. It calls for action in a series of themed paragraphs. “Now is the time” is the first: We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now...

Bibliography: [1]. Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream, August 28, 1963 [2]. Wang Shouyuan, Essentials of English Stylistics, Shandong University Press, July, 2000 [3]. Pan Shaozhang, English Rhetoric and Writing, Shanghai Transportation University Press, December, 1998 [4]. Widdowson, HG Stylistics and the Teaching of Literature, Longman, 1975 [5]. Leech, GN ' ' This bread I break 'Language and interpretation '. In DC Freeman. (Ed.). Linguistics and Literature Style. New York: Holt, Rinhart
Martin Luther King Jr. was adept at expressing himself and persuasive in his arguments. His "I Have a Dream" speech is probably his most famous, but his earlier argument in "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is also well-known. The two artifacts differ in their audience, their intent, and the way they shape their arguments, though both are carefully designed to appeal to their respective audiences and to persuade members of that audience to a point of view. The "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is a written communication while the "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered as a speech to a huge audience. The letter is much longer in keeping with the fact that it is to be read, and its argument is also more complex because the reader has more time to digest it, to re-read it if necessary, and to consider the different concepts being offered. At the same time, the letter has elements reflecting the sort of things considered important in verbal rhetoric, from the opening salutation to "My Fellow Clergymen" to other references to the readers intended to bind them to the writer of the letter by common interests and positions. In "I Have a Dream," King continually links himself with his listeners and with the occasion by the use of "we" as a subject. The occasion for each communication dictates the form and manner selected by Dr. King. In the opening lines of "Letter from Birmingham Jail," King notes first that he is presently in the Birmingham city jail, that he is writing to fellow | | | | | |
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