Rhetorical Analysis Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 's ' I Have A Dream '

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Few more influential words have been spoken than those uttered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, “I have a dream,” speech. Perhaps one of the most famous and paradigm shifting speeches in all of history, Dr. King’s was spoken with candor, authenticity, fervor, and an enormous amount of tact. With his incredible intelligence and eloquence as a doctorate in Theological Studies, his establishment as such a respected leader, and his fervor and charisma in delivering the speech, Dr. King effectively established Logos, Ethos and most importantly, Pathos in what he proclaimed would, “go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” This speech makes evident that Pathos is the most important of the three rhetorical appeals, to the point where nearly every example of Pathos and Logos are to some extent, also examples of Pathos. The pulling on emotional chords inspiring individuals to act immediately supports the purpose of rallying a nation together in support of change. Pathos takes precedence in this speech, with Logos and Ethos following. “Five score years ago…,” was the phrase King began his own speech with as he proceeded to reference the Emancipation Proclamation, and the speech given by yet another influential man regarding the same issues, a speech with equal influence and respect. King cleverly established Ethos through the Logos of Lincoln’s speech in that even one of the most influential men in all of American history was for the
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