Rhetorical Devices Used In Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

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“I Have a Dream...” Analysis

On August 28, 1963, Civil Rights activists gathered around the memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man that ended slavery and opened up a new world for African Americans through signing the Emancipation Proclamation. Unfortunately, African American still were not free. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I Have a Dream” speech that has gone down in history as a glimmer of hope for the Civil Rights activists fighting for African American freedoms. In this inspiring speech, certain rhetorical devices were used to grab the audience's attention such as, anaphora and metaphors. These devices were also used to persuade the audience. In the “I Have a Dream” speech, anaphora was used to engage the audience even more and get them to remember it. The rhetorical device, anaphora is a repetition of a word of expression at the beginning of successive phrases, sentences, or verses. The phrase, “Let freedom ring” was used seven times throughout the end of the speech. The phrase begins on paragraph twenty-two when Martin Luther King Jr. says, “This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new
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King's “I Have a Dream” speech was metaphors. A metaphor is a figure of speech used to make a comparison between two unlike things. A metaphor used in the speech was in paragraph eleven. Dr. King says, “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.” In this part of the speech, Dr. King is saying, go back to wherever you came from, no matter how hard the conditions and remeber these conditions will be changed. The quote, “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.” means that the African Americans will not sit and wait for things to change. It means stand up and make a change. Martin Luther King Jr. was a very inspiring man but, he was also peaceful. He stood up for himself and what he thought was right but, he did it peacefully. So, he is telling his audience to stand up for justice and
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