Rhetorical Analysis Of Martin Luther King's Speech

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Rousseau 1 Rousseau 2 One powerful voice has the ability to transform the challenges in society. On 28 August 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech “I Have a Dream”. This speech is to be deemed the most powerful and influential speech in history. On this day Dr. King stood before thousands of American citizens at the Lincoln Memorial park and spoke about freedom for African Americans. During this era, the civil rights movement was occurring and activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. himself influenced Americans to change justice, equality, and freedom for all African Americans by empowering the people through his words. This particular speech had a massive impact on Americans simply because of the segregation issues that were present…show more content…
Providing the facts of what is going on at that moment evokes a cognitive, rational response and forces the American people to to confront the issue themselves. The use of pathos in Kings speech is inspiring and ultimately the most important rhetorical mode used. He uses a huge amount of metaphorical language to evoke the emotions of his audience. This was the most important and effective way of engaging his audience because he appealed to the emotional side of the controversial issue. One of the best examples of Dr. King using pathos to appeal to his audience is the following quote, “In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred” (King Para 7). He uses this metaphor to tell African Americans that in the process or after gaining their freedom they cannot do wrong to the ones that have wronged them. He is also encouraging forgiveness. This is inspiring because it shows the African American people that they can be better than what once was and let go and forgive all who wronged them. Also, in the quotation above he makes apparent that they are going to gain their place in society. He was confident that they were going to gain freedom no matter what. This engages his audience and inspires African Americans to never give up. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s skillful and knowledgeable use of rhetorical modes made his “I Have a Dream” speech one of the most influential and meaningful speeches of all time. This speech was a huge turning point for African Americans in American history and recognized the problem of segregation. He not only inspired, motivated, and informed America of the problem, he evoked a change in the American people and soon after changed history. This speech used authority, factual data, and most importantly metaphorical language to influence and inform

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