Last Updated 06 Jan 2022

Rhetorical Analysis of “I Have a Dream”

Category I Have a Dream, Logos
Essay type Rhetorical
Words 764 (3 pages)
Views 382
Table of contents

On the day of August 28, 1963, At the Lincoln Memorial 200,000 people gathered after the March on Washington. This is where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his speech “I Have a Dream” to America. He spoke about the injustices of segregation and discrimination of African Americans that was taking place in our nation. In his first statement, he said, “I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” In this statement, he has said what he was there to do.

He is speaking out for freedom. This speech is one among few to demonstrate the freedom our nation was built upon. We are a nation of democracy and our nation was built on the fact that we have the right to “alter and institute new government”(Congress). Dr. Martin Luther King’s speeches and demonstrations would provoke a change in the minds and hearts of the American people. He stood up and inspired a nation into action with his words. With his speech he masterfully uses Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in his rhetoric to provide proof to all Americans that racism and segregation is not the intended foundation of America.

Ethos

Order custom essay Rhetorical Analysis of “I Have a Dream” with free plagiarism report

GET ORIGINAL PAPER

As he delivered his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial he analogizes Lincoln in his speech, “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the emancipation proclamation.” (King) His use of Lincoln brought authority into his speech. Lincoln was a powerful and great president who empowered the American people throughout the civil war. He gained the trust of America and established a new sense of freedom. Martin Luther King is invoking the authority of Lincoln and his view on civil rights. This is providing a strong ethos appeal and establishing credibility with his audience.

He also uses the Declaration of Independence to invoke authority in his cause. He quotes, ‘“unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness”’ (Congress) (bible) his use of this quote is to use a supreme authority as being on his side. He is stating that the American government has neglected on the obligation to ALL of the American people. He is setting up his own credibility by tapping into authority of a great American and our constitution.

Pathos

His use of pathos is incredible as he strikes the emotional values of both black and white people. His use of the bible causes an emotional response, ‘“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” (Isaiah) He is using the bible to provide a belief and faith in what he is saying is truth, and that all people will stand together.

His use of metaphors throughout his speech is kept his audience engaged in his fight for freedom, he states “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” (King) He uses the American dream to appeal to all Americans. He is saying that his dream is part of the American dream that we all deserve to have the freedom to dream.

He also uses the appeal that he is a father and that he wants more for his children. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character.” (King) This is allowing the listener to relate to him as a father and the aspirations we hold for our children. It provides a human appeal and uses pathos.

Logos

He also uses logos in his analogies. When he states, “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’” (King) His analogy is using logic as a form of reasoning. He reasons is that everyone understands money and that the listener is able to relate to being handed a bad check.

Conclusion

Martin Luther King’s skillful and articulate use of rhetoric in his “I have a Dream” speech was a major turning point in American history and represented a firm stand for equal rights. He spoke out to confront the issues of racism in our nation. This speech was not the beginning or the ending, but a remarkable moment in the fight for equal rights of everyone. “When all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing,” “Free at last! Free at last!” (King)

Rhetorical Analysis of “I Have a Dream” essay

Related Questions

on Rhetorical Analysis of “I Have a Dream”

What are some examples of rhetorical analysis?

A written example of a rhetorical analysis is an essay that examines the types of appeals a speaker or writer uses to gain credibility with the audience. The analysis may feature an outline of the writer's likely customs or values based on the content of his writing.

How do you summarize the "I have a Dream" speech?

King's "I have a dream" speech moves chronologically through the history of black people in the United States. It begins by referring to the Africans who were brought to America as slaves and celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation, which set them free legally. However,.

What is the summary of the I have a Dream speech?

The "I have a dream" speech took place as part of the "March for jobs and freedom," and fell around 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation that promised freedom to slaves. The speech was issued as part of a calm civil rights march dedicated to highlighting the lack of rights and freedom within the African-American population.

What is the real name of I have a Dream speech?

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, enacted after Martin Luther King, Jr's 1963 "I have a dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

This essay was written by a fellow student. You can use it as an example when writing your own essay or use it as a source, but you need cite it.

Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses

Starting from 3 hours delivery 450+ experts on 30 subjects
get essay help 124  experts online

Did you know that we have over 70,000 essays on 3,000 topics in our database?

Cite this page

Explore how the human body functions as one unit in harmony in order to life

Rhetorical Analysis of “I Have a Dream”. (2016, Aug 18). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/rhetorical-analysis-of-i-have-a-dream/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer