Literary Techniques of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech

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Introduction
Martin Luther King, Jr., a prominent civil rights leader, delivered a powerful speech at the historic March on Washington. The speech uses several literary techniques to engage the listener. In the speech, King especially likes to use repetition and metaphor to convey his ideas. These devices are the foundation of King's unique and effective style.

Repetition
In I Have a Dream King uses repetition throughout. Repetition is a good tool to use to reinforce an important idea. In Dorothy Seyler's Read, Reason, Write, she states: ?Some repetition of key words and phrases will occur in well-written and unified essays. Some writers, though, go beyond this technique of unified writing and use repetition to produce an
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I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

King uses the repetition of the title be the ?drum beating?. He uses these words and follows them with things that he knows that people are hoping for. He uses the word dream, because it is such a personal and deep commodity. The phrases he adds to the end of this representation are also very personal. This is so effectual because the target audience of this speech can see these visualizations become reality. This audience probably includes many parents, like King, making his reference to his children universal. Also, the familiarity of bible-type language (especially in the last paragraph of the example), draws the listener closer into his dream.

All of the changes to the phrase ?I have a dream? are additions to the end, except the first one of the paragraph. The first sentence in this passage includes the word ?still?. This creates an energy, because it

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