Rhetorical Analysis Of I Have A Dream Speech

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On August 28, 1963, the civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. He delivered his speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where he called for an end to racism in the United States, and civil and economic rights for all. He presented his speech to over 250,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., and he delivered a defining moment of the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King Jr. intended for his speech to gain support for the Civil Rights Movement. As a Civil Rights leader, he spread awareness about the injustices the black individuals experienced, as well as gained supporters of the movement. His audience was the 250,000 people who went to the…show more content…
He continually said “one hundred years later” and by doing this, he demonstrated how although black individuals have been freed from slavery for this amount of time, they still have not received all of the liberties they deserve. In addition, by repeatedly saying “we refuse to believe,” it is further empowered the audience to fight against the injustices. King’s use of metaphors further emphasized the emotional responses in the audience. The metaphors of a “thirst for freedom”and “battered by the storms of persecution” emphasized the urgency of the movement, and how blacks needed to experience equality as soon as possible. King established a logical argument by emphasizing that black individuals should not hate white individuals, but rather they should work together. He emphasized that to fully experience freedom, the blacks needed the support of white people. He used anaphora, specifically “we cannot” to emphasize this point. “We cannot walk alone,” (King). In addition, King discussed some of the hardships black individuals have experienced, such as police brutality, to further emphasize that equality is urgent. He used anaphora to do this. “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality…” (King). Throughout King’s speech, several motifs were prevalent and empowered the message of urgency and equality. King frequently used climatic references in his speech, such as “...now is
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