I Have A Dream Speech Rhetorical Analysis

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We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal" is the beginning of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution which was quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech. He towered over two hundred and fifty thousand people of all ages, genders, and races at the nation’s capital on August 28th, 1963. After frequent protests and sit-ins, King finally had the opportunity to notify the nation of the inhumane and unjust treatment of its citizens. Throughout this speech, Dr. King used a variety of rhetorical concepts such as: ethos, pathos, and logos. Thus, throughout this paper I will examine portions of his speech that allowed Dr. King to persuade America to change its deleterious ways and work together …show more content…
He began using pathos in the beginning, introducing his claim, “This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.” “Light of hope” gave me a hopeful feeling for everyone fighting for their rights. He used the literary device of repetition to deliver a strong feeling about the things that he was speaking about at that moment. “But one hundred years later, we must face…. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is…..One hundred years later, the Negro lives……One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing…..” I think that it made me feel more emotional about the ideas after reading the same words two or three times; the repetition also made me realize the degree of the matters. I also feel emotional when black people are referred to as Negros. “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." I understand that in the past there was no other name for a black man except “Negro”. However, living in today’s society, where the usage of that term is not often used, the general practice created a disgraceful feeling inside of me. King instigated a sentiment of happiness and hope throughout the speech that encouraged people to press forward spite the troubles they had …show more content…
At the beginning of his speech, Martin Luther King refers to “the great American”. “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation.” MLK was referring to the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was America’s sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln was responsible for abolishing slavery through signing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Dr. King also referred to the founding fathers naming them the “architects of our republic”. “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The architects that he referred to are: George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. These men are too called the “framers” of the Constitution. When these men came together they wrote the documents to give all men rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. King refers to them more importantly because he is proving that the nation was not built on segregation and inequality. He uses the credibility of these men to make his viewpoint stronger. There is no

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