Analysis of Martin Luther King’s
“I Have a Dream”
In 1963 Martin Luther King made a speech in connection with the Civil Rights March in Washington D.C. He stood as a proud black man, speaking of racial injustice and his dream of seeing American citizens come together as a nation of brothers despite race and background. Today I Have a Dream is one of the most famous speeches in American history. It is known worldwide, not only due to the message delivered in the speech, but also due to the use of language and metaphors that truly gives the speech its’ own character. Furthermore he uses several forms of appeal and rhetorical devices that make the speech appealing and sincere. One of the things that make a speech good is that it is well-arranged and that it has a structure throughout. You can easily divide I Have a Dream into three chapters, which appear in extension of each other. The first part is historical, which King starts off by pointing out, that he is standing at Abraham Lincoln’s memorial where the Emancipation proclamation was signed. He creates a certain atmosphere of fellowship when he mentions something that all Americans are proud of and something they have in common. Luther King uses a metaphor to depict what the Emancipation proclamation meant to the black people at the time it was signed: “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 ll. 9-12 p. 1”
Not only does the use of metaphors make him look well-formulated, which increases his reliability; it also makes it easier for the audience to relate to what he is saying. In the following chapter he use several metaphors to depict how the blacks still are not free. Among other things he says that they are still crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. It gives the impression that they are held prisoners in their own country which is easy for the audience...
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