Pathos And Logos In Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

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Depending on the audience and occasion, Martin Luther King Jr. uses different types of persuasive appeal in his writing. Sometimes he appeals to logic. This is called logos. Sometimes he appeals to the emotions. This is called pathos. In the next few paragraphs, I shall explain about pathos and logos, where and when he used them.

In the I Have A Dream speech, King is speaking to the people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The occasion? He wants to speak to the people, to appeal to them. He tells the people that the Emancipation Proclamation and The Constitution guarantees their rights as citizens and that not allowing them to vote or go specific places is illegal. This is an example of logos as King is appealing to logic. It could
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King says that while he is in jail for breaking the law, he is in there for breaking an unjust law, one that goes against the Constitution. This is yet another example of logos in King's work. King also states, and I quote, “when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored,” when your first name becomes “nigger” and your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and when your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”.” This is another example of pathos as King wants you to know about how bad you’re treating people.

Martin Luther King Jr. used both logos and pathos to appeal to different audiences. He used mainly pathos in the “I Have A Dream” speech because it was meant to be an emotional speech. He used mainly logos in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” because it was towards clergymen so it had to be serious and logical. Conclusively, King tried to fit each piece of literature with the occasion and
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