Rhetoric In Martin Luther King's Speech

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There are nearly an infinite amount of ways to use rhetoric. This fact alone is what constructs the best speeches ever created; the art of persuasion. A prime example of this is in both Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech “I Have a Dream,” and in his Letter From Birmingham Jail, where he uses both logos and pathos to speak to his different audiences. In each, he uses a different amount of each form of rhetoric to account for the change of audience, making his messages more valid to the independent audiences. In Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, King uses more pathos than logos because of his audience. Since his audience is all of his followers in his campaigns, he is able to do this due to the fact that they are not official characters he is speaking to. An example from this speech is his use of his children, when he states that he wants his children to “not be judged by the color of their skin…” (paragraph 20). Bringing children into a speech is an emotional thing to do, as people who have children themselves are typically very fond of them, and only want the best for…show more content…
His audience in this piece was his fellow clergymen, meaning this was a more official manner than that of his speech. This can be seen in his writing when he decides, “to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber” (paragraph 16) in his writing. Using a quote from a philosopher brings much more fact into the matter at hand. By doing this, King gives his point more credibility and generates a point using the form of rhetoric logos. Further along his path, King cites another professional, in which he writes, “As T. S. Eliot has said…” (paragraph 45). In doing this, King allows for another credible source to be brought into his letter. This creates a more solid point for King through using the form of rhetoric logos once
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