Rhetorical Analysis Of I Have A Dream Speech

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In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. made his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He delivered his speech to some 250,000 people who were present there to advocate for the equal civil rights of African Americans. A majority of the activists were themselves the victim of inequity. In this speech he called for an end to the racism and injustice against the African American people, and asked the nation to recognize the absolute lack of basic human rights. King used many forms of figurative language and powerful diction which helped him to rally his audience.
From the very introduction of his speech, he uses choice words which bring greater potency to his meaning. Firstly, King uses a myriad of metaphors to emphasize the true meaning behind his words “... millions of Negro slaves… seared in the flames of withering injustice…”. While there were no true flames, the weight of the cruelty that the African American people faced was just as stifling and as lethal as any fire. Another great metaphor appears as King tells his audience, “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism…” King does not want his fellow activists to allow the injustice to continue a second longer. They must continue to fight hard until their revolution has imposed the necessary laws to create a better United States. Relenting so quickly will not help the Civil Rights Movement move towards their
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