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Analysis of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech

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Words: 622 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Sep 18, 2018

Essay grade:
Satisfactory
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Words: 622|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Sep 18, 2018

Essay grade:
Satisfactory
arrow downward Read Review
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On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a public speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. This speech would go on to be known as the most famous speech in history, the “I Have a Dream” speech. In this speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. recited his perspective on segregation at one of the most significant civil rights rally in history. King’s intentions were to let people know that racism must come to an end and African Americans must gain civil and economic rights. The way King initiated his message through the use of rhetorical devices, pathos, ethos, and logos, allowed his audience to hear and connect with his message sufficiently.

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The use of pathos in this speech leaves the audience with a sense of compassion and empowerment. This speech is clearly delivered with great passion that allows the audience to feel determined. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. appeals to his audience by using a verse from the book of Isaiah to stress that faithfulness and unity is vital to seek for equality. Furthermore, he uses his own desire of the American Dream to enable the audience to correlate with his message. Incorporating the American Dream permits his audience to relate to something that everyone longs for and expresses that we all deserve freedom. King’s use of repetition with the phrase “Now is the time…” allows his audience to feel empowered to take action. In this speech, King uses his personal reference of being a father to emphasize that he wants nothing but the best for his children. People who are parents like King, will associate with him as a father and the dreams parents have for their children.

When giving such an important speech at such a big event, it is important to be an expert on the topic you are speaking about. Martin Luther King uses ethos in the “I Have a Dream” speech numerous of times to show his knowledgeability and credibility. Throughout the speech, King refers to credible source, Abraham Lincoln. He goes on to declare that he is grateful for the remarkable abolishment of slavery and acknowledges his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. He also continuously refers to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He states that time and time again they refuse to stand by their promises to the people. Using these references enables his audience to trust and respect what he is delivering to them.

Martin Luther King uses logos to persuade his audience to fight for equality. King refers to the Emancipation Proclamation which freed all slaves. However, the Negro is still not free. He proves this with reference of segregation and police brutality towards African Americans. Another use of logos is when King emphasizes that not all white people are against African Americans. Therefore, they should not be stereotyped because some realize that justice should be for everyone no matter your color and will stand with you to fight against segregation.

Throughout the speech King also logically alludes to discrimination and segregation and how nothing will be rectified till it’s been put to an end.

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The “I Have a Dream” speech was a climax for American history. Martin Luther King achieved his goal all with one speech. This speech helped solidify African Americans and white people to stand for equal rights. By King standing up and speaking out for what he believed in, today we are able to be unified. Although he passed away before things were acted upon, with this speech he was able to help save everyone’s freedom and individualism. The usage of rhetorical devices, pathos, ethos and logos, is what made this speech indelible and influential.

Keywords

Rhetoric,Martin Luther King, Jr.,African American,Emancipation Proclamation,United States,Slavery in the United States,Abolitionism,African-American Civil Rights Movement,Black people,I Have a Dream

Works Cited

  1. King, M. L. (1963, August 28). I Have a Dream Speech. Retrieved from [Insert URL]
  2. Carson, C. (1998). The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York, NY: Intellectual Properties Management in association with Warner Books.
  3. Miller, K. L. (1996). Martin Luther King’s Biblical Epic: His Final, Great Speech. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 26(2), 433-452. doi:10.1111/j.1741-5705.1996.tb00067.x
  4. Bland, R. L. (2012). The Rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963. The Journal of Negro Education, 81(3), 278-289. doi:10.7709/jnegroeducation.81.3.0278
  5. Ansbro, J. J. (1998). Martin Luther King, Jr.: Nonviolent Strategies and Tactics for Social Change. Journal of American History, 85(3), 965-990. doi:10.2307/2568550
  6. Branch, T. (1988). Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  7. Garrow, D. J. (1986). Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. New York, NY: Vintage Books.
  8. Harding, V. (2010). Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.
  9. King, M. L. (2010). A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. New York, NY: HarperOne.
  10. Sitkoff, H. (2008). The Struggle for Black Equality, 1954-1980. New York, NY: Hill and Wang.
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This essay was graded by
Dr. Oliver Johnson
Essay’s grade:
Satisfactory
What’s grading
minus plus
Expert Review
This essay gives an overview of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, but it lacks clarity and coherence. The writer jumps from one idea to the next without adequate transitions or explanations. There are also several grammatical errors and awkward phrasing that detract from the overall quality of the essay. The essay could benefit from better organization, more specific examples, and a clearer focus on the main points of the speech.
minus plus
What can be improved
The essay lacks a clear structure or organization. The writer jumps between different ideas without adequate transitions or explanations. The essay would benefit from a clear introduction and thesis statement that outlines the main points the writer wants to make. Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence that ties back to the thesis and helps guide the reader through the essay. For example, the second paragraph discusses the use of pathos in the speech, but it does not connect this idea to the larger argument of the essay or provide specific examples to support the claim. Similarly, the third paragraph discusses King's use of ethos, but it does not tie back to the larger argument or provide specific examples of how King uses ethos in the speech.While the essay attempts to analyze the "I Have a Dream" speech, it lacks a clear focus on the main points of the speech. The writer jumps between discussing King's use of pathos, ethos, and logos without providing a clear argument about how these techniques are used to persuade the audience. The essay would benefit from a clearer thesis statement that outlines the main points the writer wants to make and a focus on analyzing specific examples from the speech that support the argument.The essay contains several grammatical errors and awkward phrasing that detract from the overall quality of the essay. The writer frequently uses passive voice and unclear pronoun references, which make the writing difficult to follow. For example, the sentence "Incorporating the American Dream permits his audience to relate to something that everyone longs for and expresses that we all deserve freedom" could be rewritten as "Incorporating the American Dream allows the audience to connect with King's message of freedom and equality." The essay could also benefit from more varied sentence structures and a clearer use of transitions to connect ideas.The essay lacks a clear and consistent voice. The writer frequently switches between first, second, and third person without a clear reason for doing so. The essay would benefit from a more consistent use of voice and a clearer sense of the writer's perspective and purpose.Overall, this essay could benefit from better organization, more specific examples, and a clearer focus on the main points of the speech. While the essay attempts to analyze the "I Have a Dream" speech, it lacks a clear argument and a consistent voice. With these improvements, the essay could better demonstrate the writer's understanding of the speech and its significance.

Cite this Essay

Analysis of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech. (2022, May 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reflections-on-i-have-a-dream-speach/
“Analysis of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech.” GradesFixer, 13 May 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reflections-on-i-have-a-dream-speach/
Analysis of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reflections-on-i-have-a-dream-speach/> [Accessed 14 Jul. 2024].
Analysis of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 13 [cited 2024 Jul 14]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reflections-on-i-have-a-dream-speach/
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