Rhetorical Strategies In I Have A Dream Speech

Martin Luther King, a black civil right campaigner, gave an unforgettable speech called “I Have a Dream” on August 28, 1963, commemorating the centennial of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and urging President John F. Kennedy to pass civil rights bill. King’s purpose of giving this speech is to eliminate the inequality of treatment to black people, to express the necessities of eradicating racial inequality and to pursue the improvement of future changes. He adopted a dramatic tone in order to appeal similar feelings and experiences with the audience, especially black people. In this paper, the rhetorical strategies in King’s speech, such as allusion, simile, hyperbole and repetition emphasize his ideas, help audience to remember his ideas …show more content…
“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation” (King 1). In this sentence, “five score years ago” is an allusion which refers to Lincoln 's speech, Gettysburg address. Lincoln began the speech with now-iconic phrase "Four score and twenty years ago”, referring to the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In Lincoln’s speech, he reiterated the principles of principles of human equality and proclaimed the Civil War as struggle that would bring true equality to all of citizen and would bring a new nation. And this is what King want to say that all men is created to be equal. By relating a classic America President’s speech, he expresses the equivalent worth of both cultures that we should realize Lincoln’s dream. And this outpouring emotion from the speech conveys that this is the time black people started to have equal rights with other nation by signing Emancipation Proclamation. Allusions can help people see unique connections between two ideas. Additionally, he used allusion at the beginning of the speech, not only expects the audience to possess enough knowledge to spot the usage of words, but also let people recall the eloquent speech of Lincoln and refresh the memory of freedom. What’s more, Although Lincoln expressed his idea, the black people who share the collective …show more content…
Kings, a great civil rights leader and accomplished writer, gave an impressive speech of “I Have a Dream” at the date of August 28,1963. He is very conscious of his audience, and he is very commanding of his wording to correctly express his own feeling and desire and avoid unnecessary hurting to black people. And the use of allusion recalls the connection from people; the use of simile imaginary gives audience a picture of justice; the use of hyperbole and repetition emphasize the feeling and desire of equality and righteousness. These four rhetorical techniques emphasize his ideas of equality and justice, help audience to remember his ideas and raise audience’s emotion. King reminds us that even today, 100 years later, the black American lives under alienation and

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