Rhetorical Techniques Used In Martin Luther King's Speech

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On August 28, 1963, 200,000 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his infamous, "I Have a Dream," speech. He was a civil rights activist, and in his speech he describes the injustices of segregation and discrimination of African Americans taking place in our nation. King's purpose is to provoke a change in the minds and hearts of the American people. He adopts a determined tone in order to appeal to similar feelings of his audience who want the freedom and civil rights that other citizens have. King effectively convinces his audience that racism and segregation should be terminated by using rhetorical appeals such as ethos, logos, and pathos. Without delay, King presents his speech on the steps of the…show more content…
To give his audience a sense of hope, he constantly repeats the phrase, "I Have a Dream" (pars. 16-19). Nonetheless, King uses a significant amount of feeling words to provoke the emotions of the crowd. Words such as "shameful," "oppression," and "injustice" are all used to help him penetrate the hearts of the people. Because King uses the example of wanting a higher quality of life for his children, his audience can relate to him as a father and longing for their children to have a life greater than them (par. 19). King effectively uses what the people are most passionate about to create a change in racism and segregation. On August 28, 1963, history was made when Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered an inspirational speech that caused a change in the direction of the Civil Rights Movement. He was speaking out to confront the issues of racism in our nation, and skillfully used rhetorical devices to help him achieve his goal. King successfully used ethos, logos, and pathos to show the impact of appealing to ethic, logic, and emotions of his audience. This speech was definitely groundbreaking for American people to gain
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