Rhetorical Analysis Of I Have A Dream Speech

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100 years after the delivery of the Emancipation Proclamation delivered by President Abraham Lincoln, a young man by the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also known as the father of the modern civil rights movement, would stand on stage in Washington D.C. and deliver a speech to over 250,000 people known as the “I Have a Dream” speech. Arguably, one of the most memorable speeches of all time, Dr. King would raise the issues of social injustice, police brutality, and racial segregation. Hoping to one day see equality, unity, and equity prevail in the United States. As promised by our forefathers, all Americans would have unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Dr. King would resonate this message in hopes that all would hear and that things would change for the better. Dr. King starts off his speech with a powerful message, “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro Slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.” His use of historical context and the use of a technique known as ethos would help draw in his audience and intrigue them to listen. By utilizing historical context, such as the Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address, the Constitution, and Declaration of Independence, Dr. King was able to embrace every aspect of what his speech was about. Dr. King states, “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the ‘unalienable rights’ of ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Further, with the appropriate allusions, context and quotations Dr. King was able to gain lots of credibility with his speech. Thus, allowing his audience to gain his trust. One of Dr. King’s main objectives with his speech was to bring all the wrong that was happening to our African-American citizens to
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