Rhetorical Analysis Of I Have A Dream Speech

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During the era of the civil rights movements in the 60s, among the segregation, racism, and injustice against the blacks, Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial to deliver one of the greatest public speeches for freedom in that decade. In Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech he effectively uses ethos, diction and powerful metaphors to express the brutality endured by African American people. Yet his most important method of reaching his audience, and conveying his enduring message of equality and freedom for the whole nation was his appeal to pathos. With these devices, King was able to move thousands of hearts and inspire the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Opening his speech Martin Luther King Jr. sets up his credibility with his use of ethos, referring to the Declaration of Independence saying, “This note was a promise that all men… would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life.” He places the strong authority of the declaration on his side to show how the American people are in contradiction to their own “sacred obligation” and the Negros have gotten a “bad check.” A metaphor representing the unfulfilled promise of human rights for the African Americans. King skillfully evokes an emotional response from all races with the use of religion: “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” By doing this he finds a common ground that brings black and whites closer with a common belief in God they share, as well as the mention of
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