Rhetorical Devices In I Have A Dream

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Analyzing the Strategies of “I Have a Dream” A speech is often used to convey tone in a way a written piece cannot. When writing and giving a speech, a speaker may use certain rhetorical devices and other techniques in order to get a message across to an audience. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, King addresses the social injustices faced by African Americans and minorities in the 1960’s. King’s speech put emphasis on his call for action by using the rhetorical device parallelism. According to Merriam-Webster, parallelism is “repeated syntactical similarities introduced for rhetorical effect” (Merriam-Webster). An example of parallelism within King’s speech is the repetition of the phrase “I have a dream.” In an excerpt from his speech King exclaimed, I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are…show more content…
Diction refers to the choice of words used by a writer in relation to the tone and the point the writer wants to get across. Often times effective diction involves the use of potent words. King used diction within his speech through attention-grabbing words like “oppression,” “withering,” “refuse,” and “tranquilizing.” A strong choice of words eludes to a stronger and larger impact upon the audience (“Martin”). Effective speeches and works of literature use a multitude of devices and techniques. Writers use these devices in order to deliver a specific message to the targeted audience in a way that is memorable. In Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech “I Have a Dream,” he used literary and rhetorical devices such as parallelism, pathos, and diction to gain the help of others so he could manifest his dreams of change into a
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