Rhetorical Analysis Of I Have A Dream Speech

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On August 28,1963, Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to give the “I Have a Dream” speech, which became one of the most famous and well known speeches in America, impacting all people, playing an important role in the end of segregation and leading to equality for African Americans. King’s discussion of the unfair treatment African Americans were experiencing during the time created a powerful argument on human rights and equality for African Americans through the use of ethos found in trustworthy sources, repetition and a motivating tone.
King started off his speech by making himself more credible to the audience and giving them a reason to listen to his argument. His use of authoritative sources provides a sense of common ground between him and the audience, using figures and sources that are well respected amongst Americans. He starts his speech with the statement “Five score years ago” (King), Which, since similar to Abraham Lincoln start of his Gettysburg Address, was a phrase that was popularly correlated to the president. This provided a way for King to relate back to the audience, as that most of the audience already knew of who King was referring to with the phrase alone, and allowed the audience to feel more trusting of Kings words. He then continues by bringing up the Emancipation Proclamation, and how Lincolns decision had come as “a great beacon light of hope” for the African American people (King). This wording not only allowed

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