Rhetorical 28, 1963 Martin Luther King delivered a
Rhetorical Analysis: “I Have a Dream” On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King delivered a speech that was crucial to the civil rights movement. His audience was comprised of 250,000 people that traveled to the Lincoln Memorial. King’s speech, “I have a dream” will be forever remembered for its impact on the Civil Rights movement. Throughout the speech he uses many rhetorical devices such as solidification, mobilization, and different appeals to bond his audience.
King uses revolutionary theatre as a form of solidification to get his point across.He points out the problems of the society in the first half of the speech then motivates his audience to take control. He makes references to the past with the Emancipation Proclamation by acknowledging Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to bring about change to the freedom of slaves.
He reacts to the Emancipation Proclamation stating “One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. ” (King, 1963) Although Lincoln had brought light to the issue of slavery, segregation was still evident.The Declaration of Independence states that both black and white men are guaranteed “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. ” (King, 1963) King appeals to his white audience and motivates them to take action.
King makes an effort to practice non-violent resistance to fight for equality. By doing so, his actions along with his followers lead to peace rather than violence. “In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not feel guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. (King, 1963) By persuading his audience through nonviolent means adds to the success of the Civil Rights movement. King’s peaceful approach strives to unite the nation rather than directly attack a group or individual. King’s speech strives to persuade the audience to come together to reach a shared goal of social change.
His mobilization efforts are evident in the urgency of his speech. He states the problem then verifies it with a solution to ultimately come together. The “unspeakable horrors of police brutality” has to change in order for the nation to gain equality.He brings hope to the situation in stating “Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. ” (King, 1963) He looks to the future again trying to unite the audience. King states “we can not walk alone” meaning that it is not just a black man’s fight, but a white mans fight as well.
Throughout the speech he addresses the black and white people individually. By the end of the speech he addresses them as ‘my friends’ changing the appeal to the audience as more than individuals.The persuasion in his speech allows for black men not to “distrust of all white people” rather to realize that “their destiny is tied up with our destiny. ” By realizing the bond between the colors helps refine the unification and ultimately rule out segregation. The tone of the speech is appropriate for the audience in that it is persuasive to get them to take control. His enthusiasm in the type of words his used were successful in getting his message across. The purpose of the speech is to bring awareness to the racial inequalities.
He successfully uses ethos since he has lived through the same social injustice as his audience. By using pathos he evokes emotions that in turn makes his audience believe in what he is saying. When he recites “This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning, My country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing,” he spoke of freedom, justice, and liberty. He repeats words to reiterate the importance of his dream to unite the nation. Overall, the speech is successful in creating motivation for his audience to take action against the racial inequalities of the people.His technique in solidifying the social movement was successful in that he reiterates his argument. He looks at the past, present and future of the issue.
By non-violently taking action he has gain peace instead of more hatred between the races. He is able to appeal to the emotions of the audience since he has been through the same tribulations as them. His beliefs are identifiable with a large audience. He was successful in reiterating his dream to unite the nation and abolish segregation. Work Cited King, Martin.
“I have a dream. ” Lincoln Memorial, Washington D. C..
August 28 1963. In Person. .