A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.: [Essay Example], 501 words GradesFixer

Haven't found the right essay?

Get an expert to write your essay!


Professional writers and researchers


Sources and citation are provided


3 hour delivery

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.

Download Print

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay.

We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

Download PDF

“I Have A Dream” Rhetorical Analysis

One of the most well known pieces of oratory of all time is Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech was written with the intention of persuade all Americans that all people are created equal under God and the law. The use of allusion and exposition aid in the overall effectiveness of his piece.

King’s use of allusion to the Bible, a patriotic song, and the Declaration of Independence are used to appeal to each person’s sense of moral obligation to uphold equality. By using biblical references like “and the crooked place will be made straight” he appeals to a Christian audience. No Christian wants to be seen as a sinner so by telling them that it is God’s will for people to live with equality he adds validity to his point. In the same manner, King uses a patriotic song “My Country Tis’ of Thee”. He urges one to listen to the sense of nationalism felt by the majority of Americans. By referencing the commonly accepted patriotic song he makes an undeniable case for acceptance of integration policy and universal equality. He also appeals to members of Congress and Americans who are tied to their roots by quoting the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was the beginning of the American Revolution, which is a heroic moment in American history. By comparing that event to that which was being experienced when he made the speech, King made his audience have a tangible understanding. By using sources that are commonly accepted by the majority of the population, King made each person feel a moral obligation to his cause through Christianity and nationalism.

The other technique that Martin Luther King Jr. uses to enhance the effectiveness of the oratory is exposition. He uses examples from his own life and the lives of others to make his piece more accessible to the average person. King uses his own children as an example of racial injustice. He says that his children should be judged upon their moral character and not upon their skin color. This statement is powerful to anyone who is a parent. For King to talk about his own children adds an element of emotion and makes his writing all the more effective in its purpose of persuasion. He also lists different mountains from which freedom should ring. This is in reference to his quote from “My Country Tis of Thee”. He lists the names of these mountains so that a listener might feel a personal connection as well. Examples heighten the personal response and cause people to act on their emotions.

King uses persuasive techniques like exemplifying and allusion to appeal to the broad audience that is the American public. He also uses techniques like repetition, specifically of the words “I Have a Dream” to emphasize the importance of his work and make sure that everyone understands that the outcome of this situation affects them no matter their race.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

100% plagiarism free

Sources and citations are provided

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-the-speech-i-have-a-dream-by-martin-luther-king-jr/
“A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.” GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-the-speech-i-have-a-dream-by-martin-luther-king-jr/
A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-the-speech-i-have-a-dream-by-martin-luther-king-jr/> [Accessed 22 Oct. 2020].
A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. [Internet] GradesFixer. 2019 Jan 03 [cited 2020 Oct 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-the-speech-i-have-a-dream-by-martin-luther-king-jr/
copy to clipboard

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.


    Attention! this essay is not unique. You can get 100% plagiarism FREE essay in 30sec

    Recieve 100% plagiarism-Free paper just for 4.99$ on email
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample

    Sorry, we cannot unicalize this essay. You can order Unique paper and our professionals Rewrite it for you



    Your essay sample has been sent.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer

    GradesFixer.com uses cookies. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.