“I Have A Dream” Analysis
Set in Washington, DC in 1963 during the March on Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered one of his most celebrated speeches today. In his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is successful in communicating his points to his audience. Most of these points focused on equality for all and looking towards a brighter future of racial harmony. Throughout his speech, King used several, but not all, of the skills every speaker should have.
One of the most important things to analyze is the speech objective. As a notable civil rights leader, King’s main objective was to motivate his followers, mainly civil rights activists. His objective was to motivate them to continue their strenuous civil rights work and motivate them to overcome the seemingly unchangeable conditions that they were dealing with. The primary message being delivered was that Blacks in America were not being treated fairly and that they were going to continue to push for justice until it was achieved. He gives examples, such as the fact that most Blacks in the Deep South were still not able to vote and that racial violence was still occurring throughout the Nation.
One of the most important ways that King got his objective to motivate across to his audience was by relating to the people and by already being a leader. If another person were to have given the exact same speech, they probably would not have succeeded in getting the same objective across. King was clearly an influential leader during the civil rights era and all Americans knew him as such.
One of the skills he used most lucratively was the use of “master metaphors.” Terms such as “cash the check” of the “promissory note” (in reference to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution), aided him in getting the point across that Blacks in America had the right to insist on societal change. Going along with this, he claimed that they must “refuse to...