Rhetorical Analysis Of Letter From Birmingham Jail

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Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote a letter, from a Birmingham jail, addressing a few clergymen on their opinion concerning his motives, throughout the letter King uses rhetoric in order to persuade readers. King uses these rhetoric appeals such as logos, pathos and ethos in order to persuade every person who reads his letter, there are many strong points made by King throughout the letter but some of his strongest moments might have been his referencing of the Bible. Considering that King was a Christian, his reference to biblical figures improves the effectiveness of his arguments; therefore, King is creating an argument based off of something that many people would relate to. By relating to a greater audience one can make a more powerful …show more content…

King references organized religion throughout his letter and considering that the letter was mainly directed towards the clergymen, religion proves to be a continuous theme throughout the letter and may be the cause for one of the strongest arguments in the letter. Part of this argument is seen when King proposes a question on what makes a law just or unjust. King references St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest medieval Christian philosophers and one of the greatest church authorities, when he states, “An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust” (382). King clearly has a clear definition in what he believes is …show more content…

Historical situations are brought up by King such as the crucifixion, by doing this King involves those who believe in God to acknowledge his argument to the full extent. King attempts to arouse sympathy through the use of crucifixion when he states, “We must never forget all three men were crucified for the same crime—the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment” (388). Using this explanation King attempts to target pathos in order to extract sympathy from his audience, by explaining himself as an extremist he attempts to make a comparison of what is happening to him to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Merriam-Webster dictionary states that an extremism is the, “belief in and support for ideas that are very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable” (Extremism) those who believe in extremism are extremist and people today might not agree that Martin Luther King Jr. was an extremist, but during his time everything was much different; therefore, everything King fought for was an extreme during his time, but to us it would not be considered extreme. King later goes on to address the Church as an organization in itself, “So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from

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