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Powerful Rhetoric In Martin Luther Kings I Have A Dream

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During the 1960s era racial tension was at its boiling point. On August 28, 1963 American civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, performed a historic speech titled: I have a Dream. His speech was vigorous, dominant and also compelling throughout due to his hallucinatory use of rhetoric persuasion. Rhetoric persuasion is abundant throughout his eminent speech which helped convince a congregation to take in the message he was propelling. Martin Luther King was very successful with the deliverance of his famous speech I have a Dream. This was due to the fact that he had addressed his audience very distinctly when explaining how he has involved civil and economic rights and had further put an end to racism in the United States. Martin Luther King succeeded in doing this with the aid of the rhetorical appeals of Logos, Ethos, and Pathos.

Greek philosopher Aristotle introduced the three means of persuasion; these are Logos, Ethos, Pathos. These rhetorical techniques are used to prompt an audience. Firstly, Logos is the appeal to the reasoning and logic. Secondly, Ethos which is the authority to the appeal or the credibility. Lastly, Pathos which is the appeal of emotion.

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Martin Luther King was born January 15th, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of the Baptist minister. King was an American Christian minister and activist who later became one among the foremost conspicuous spokesmen and also leader of the Civil Rights Movement in 1955 until his assasination in 1968. He arranged a variety of peaceful protests as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, including the famous March on Washington where the I have a Dream speech was executed.

Martin Luther King’s use of Logos is noted to make the audience see that they haven’t been given equal opportunities, equal rights, and also the respect that the white people get. King dreamed of perfect equality, unity and brotherhood. In addition, King’s many followers also shared this dream, he wanted his dream to be known by his audience abruptly. He wanted this mainly due to the losses the Black community is bearing. King says “five score years ago”, therefore meaning that it has already been too late. As he repeats “one hundred years later”, King is telling the audience that the miseries imposed on the Black community are too many to count as well as, waiting any longer would be utterly distressing meaning that it could be painful for them.

”America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds” the use of logos in this example presents how King is telling his audience what happens in his society and other peoples soceity.

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Powerful Rhetoric In Martin Luther Kings I Have A Dream. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from
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