Anaphora In I Have A Dream Speech

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Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech--made in 1963--was primarily about giving the colored people of America the same freedom advantages as white men and women. King had a mission to end racism and start a new beginning for African Americans, and by this, he gets his point across by using devices such as anaphora, allusion, and diction.
Martin Luther King uses a literary devices called anaphora, the repetition of words or phrases, to create emotional and logical appeal, numerous times in his speech. One such example comes early in the speech when he emphasizes how long it has been since the Emancipation Proclamation. “But one hundred years later...” (12-16) Dr. King repeats that quote multiple times between lines twelve and sixteen
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King frequently used allusion, or a direct or indirect reference to something that is commonly or well-known, in his speech. For an excellent example, King refers back to a well-known term made popular in 1863 when the The Gettysburg Address was spoken by Abraham Lincoln . “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.". (8-9) Dr. King 's idea to include “Five score years ago…” was to direct the idea that his speech was made exactly 100 years after Lincoln’s speech--a score being 20 years, which makes 5 score being 100 years ago. The Emancipation Proclamation was primarily given to resolve slavery and help give African Americans the same equal rights as white men and by including a quote declared by Lincoln, he is showing gratitude to one of the most heroic men in our nation’s history. King also states “in whose symbolic shadow we stand today,” by saying this he is referring “we” as in the thousands of people who stood before him under Lincoln’s shadow of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. To further add another indirect reference to his speech, Martin Luther King includes the image of our founding fathers as being the architects of our great nation. "When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir....It is obvious today…show more content…
King made sure to use profound word choice, such known as diction. Diction is used throughout King 's speech very relevantly. “Nineteen sixty three is not an end, but a beginning.” (34-35) By using the word “beginning,” King is setting forth the idea of a beginning of a new life, of a new chapter, the beginning of a new era in the lives of African Americans in the United States. He wants everybody in America to know that 1963 is the last of racism and a new beginning of racial-love, not hate, for they “will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.” To utilize King’s use of diction, he repeatedly offers the word “justice” a large number of times in his speech. “Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” (35-39) Just one of the many times King refers to the word “justice” in his speech is when he produces the idea that basically America will neither be “tranquil” nor “at rest” as long as the white men and women continue to revolt against their religion. Also, the African Americans “will not stop until Negro is granted his citizenship rights,” which means Negros will continue to rebel if the “nation returns to business
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