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Martin Luther King Rhetorical Analysis

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Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most influential African-American activists in American History and was a key participant in the Civil Rights movement, the goal of which was to provide full civil rights to all rights in America. MLK has written many, many speeches and letters in favor of the Civil Rights movement in America, the most famous of them being his legendary “I Have a Dream” Speech and the monumental “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. To attempt to gain support for his cause, MLK employs the use of emotional appeals, also known as pathos, and logical appeals, also known as logos, which aid to stir emotion and reasoning in the listener. It is more than obvious that MLK tends to tug at the heartstrings of his listeners with his emotionally charged language essential to his success. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. uses more powerful and plentiful examples of pathos in his literature, examples of which being his “I Have a Dream” speech and his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, than logos due to the more powerful emotional connection they carry which can convince his listeners to sympathize with his civil rights movement. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches and letters, there are many powerful examples of the use of pathos. Firstly, from his speech “I Have a Dream”, MLK preaches: “This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.” (King, 261). This piece of evidence displays that
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