Rhetorical Analysis Of Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King Jr. wrote numerous speeches in efforts to inspire the idea of non-violent protesting in hopes of eventually reaching racial equality. Under what conditions can a man with seemingly no connection to a local community step in and assume the mantle of leadership as a spokesman for a segment of that community’s population? In all of the speeches, one way or another, Dr. King used several different rhetorical devices in order to defend his own actions. In specific, two of his speeches, “I have a Dream” and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” Dr. King used the rhetorical devices of anaphora, allusion, and diction to relay his thoughts of what is right, and also as a way to build a common ground with his audience. Though the rhetorical devices are shared between the two speeches, there are also several differences. The main difference between the two speeches is that in “I have a Dream” Dr. King is vocalizing his own ideas for what could become of the United States of America. In “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” Dr. King is responding to the clergymen’s letter regarding his braking of the law. The rhetorical devices as well as the speeches are similar, while the audience is the factor that changes the premise. In the speech “I have a Dream” Dr. King’s uses the rhetorical device of anaphora several times. The first time, Dr. King implores the audience to seize the moment by saying “Now is the time…” four times in the sixth paragraph. His second use of
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