Rhetorical Analysis Essay on 'I Have a Dream': Ethos, Logos, Pathos

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Inequality around the world has been a huge problem for many people. Not many voices have been heard, but the people who dared to speak up about it like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did in his “I Have a Dream” speech given to Congress on August 28th, 1963. Like Dr. King, Malala Yousafzai spoke against inequality and injustice in her “Nobel Lecture” speech given on December 10th, 2014 at the Oslo City Hall in Norway. Both Martin Luther King’s and Malala Yousafzai’s speeches are similar because they use Pathos, Ethos, and repetition to try and eliminate inequalities in the world.

In Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Malala Yousafzai’s “Nobel Lecture” speech, both speakers use the rhetorical device, of pathos, to strengthen the severity of their points that they are trying to get across to the world. In Dr. King’s speech, he says “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character” (King). He says this to appeal to his audience’s emotions, specifically parents and older generations. He is a father and wants more for his children. He does not want his children or any child to experience what he had to during his life. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s utilization of pathos was effective by starting a feeling of blame in his audience, who displayed carelessness to the reason for the Civil Rights Movement and showed the lack of authorization of the protected rights that had a place with African Americans. Dr. King attempts to make his dissatisfaction with the fact that the years of ignorance have caused the world to go to pieces obvious. While listening to the speech, the audience can feel King's anger in it. His firm confidence in solidarity and kind-heartedness are apparent in every part of his speech. There is an unmistakable sense of outrage in his speech at the limits that have shielded African Americans from discovering pleasure in their lives and he wants the listeners to feel it. As well as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Malala Yousafzai effectively uses pathos to appeal to her audience’s emotions. Malala Yousafzai utilizes pathos often in her speech by talking with conviction, using clear language, and shifting her manner of speaking. In addition, she likewise explains numerous stories to the crowd, both from her own life and from other individuals who have encountered comparable things as herself. A case of how Malala Yousafzai attempts to allow the audience to feel her words is when she says “I had two options. One was to remain silent and wait to be killed. And the second was to speak up and be killed. I chose the second one. I decided to speak up” (Yousafzai). This was to show that Yousafzai has been through a lot of things in her life and she wants to bring awareness to the circumstances that she, along with millions of people around the world, has had to live through. This illustrates a sense of passion in her speech because she firmly believes that there needs to be a change in the world regarding inequalities and injustices. The audience can feel her pain through her words and feel pity towards the situation. The speeches are similar in terms of pathos because both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malala Yousafzai successfully use pathos to appeal to their audience’s emotions, making them all have sympathy towards both situations. Dr. Martin Luther King looks to unite the different races and help them live as equivalents. The passionate component in his speech becomes more grounded as he talks about the different types of torment the African American society has experienced in its battle for equity and opportunity. This is intended to make the listeners feel away. When Malala Yousafzai uses pathos, she also strives to make the audience feel a way when she mentions her personal experiences of injustice. Both speakers effectively used the appeal to the crowd’s emotions to strengthen their points to the world of people listening to them.

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In Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Malala Yousafzai’s “Nobel Lecture” speech, both speakers use the rhetorical device, of ethos, also to emphasize the severity of the points that they are trying to get across to the world. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. mentions Abraham Lincoln when he says “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation” (King). His utilization of Lincoln brought authority into his discourse. Lincoln was an incredible and extraordinary president who empowered American individuals all through the Civil War. He picked up the trust of America and built up another feeling of opportunity. Martin Luther King is bringing forth the authority of Lincoln and his view on social liberties. This gives a solid ethos appeal and builds up validity with his group of listeners. 

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay on ‘I Have a Dream’: Ethos, Logos, Pathos. (2024, May 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-essay-on-i-have-a-dream-ethos-logos-pathos/
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Rhetorical Analysis Essay on ‘I Have a Dream’: Ethos, Logos, Pathos [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 May 16 [cited 2024 Jun 16]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-essay-on-i-have-a-dream-ethos-logos-pathos/

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