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“I Have A Dream” Rhetorical Analysis
One of the most well known pieces of oratory of all time is Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech was written with the intention of persuade all Americans that all people are created equal under God and the law. The use of allusion and exposition aid in the overall effectiveness of his piece.
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King’s use of allusion to the Bible, a patriotic song, and the Declaration of Independence are used to appeal to each person’s sense of moral obligation to uphold equality. By using biblical references like “and the crooked place will be made straight” he appeals to a Christian audience. No Christian wants to be seen as a sinner so by telling them that it is God’s will for people to live with equality he adds validity to his point. In the same manner, King uses a patriotic song “My Country Tis’ of Thee”. He urges one to listen to the sense of nationalism felt by the majority of Americans. By referencing the commonly accepted patriotic song he makes an undeniable case for acceptance of integration policy and universal equality. He also appeals to members of Congress and Americans who are tied to their roots by quoting the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was the beginning of the American Revolution, which is a heroic moment in American history. By comparing that event to that which was being experienced when he made the speech, King made his audience have a tangible understanding. By using sources that are commonly accepted by the majority of the population, King made each person feel a moral obligation to his cause through Christianity and nationalism.
The other technique that Martin Luther King Jr. uses to enhance the effectiveness of the oratory is exposition. He uses examples from his own life and the lives of others to make his piece more accessible to the average person. King uses his own children as an example of racial injustice. He says that his children should be judged upon their moral character and not upon their skin color. This statement is powerful to anyone who is a parent. For King to talk about his own children adds an element of emotion and makes his writing all the more effective in its purpose of persuasion. He also lists different mountains from which freedom should ring. This is in reference to his quote from “My Country Tis of Thee”. He lists the names of these mountains so that a listener might feel a personal connection as well. Examples heighten the personal response and cause people to act on their emotions.
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King uses persuasive techniques like exemplifying and allusion to appeal to the broad audience that is the American public. He also uses techniques like repetition, specifically of the words “I Have a Dream” to emphasize the importance of his work and make sure that everyone understands that the outcome of this situation affects them no matter their race.
This essay’s grade:
The essay "A Rhetorical Analysis of The Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr." demonstrates a solid understanding of the techniques and rhetorical strategies used in King's speech. The essay is well-organized, with clear and concise paragraphs that focus on specific examples of allusion and exposition. The author's voice is confident and knowledgeable, and the sentence structure and grammar are generally sound. However, there are a few instances where the writing could be improved, such as the use of passive voice and repetition of certain phrases. Overall, the essay is a solid effort that effectively analyzes the rhetorical strategies used in King's speech.
What can be improved
The essay "A Rhetorical Analysis of The Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr." is generally well-written and effectively analyzes the rhetorical strategies used in King's speech. However, there are a few areas where the writing could be improved.Firstly, the author sometimes uses passive voice, which can make the writing feel impersonal and less engaging. For example, in the sentence "King’s use of allusion to the Bible, a patriotic song, and the Declaration of Independence are used to appeal to each person’s sense of moral obligation," the passive voice detracts from the author's point. Instead, the sentence could be revised to say "King appeals to each person’s sense of moral obligation by using allusions to the Bible, a patriotic song, and the Declaration of Independence." Additionally, the essay sometimes repeats certain phrases, which can make the writing feel monotonous. For instance, the author uses the phrase "appeals to" several times throughout the essay. To improve the writing, the author could use synonyms such as "resonates with" or "connects to" instead.Finally, the essay could benefit from more in-depth analysis of King's use of repetition. While the author notes that King repeats the phrase "I Have a Dream," they do not explore the significance of this repetition. By delving deeper into the use of repetition in King's speech, the essay could provide a more nuanced analysis of his rhetorical strategies. Overall, the essay is a solid effort that effectively analyzes King's speech, but with some revisions to the writing and more in-depth analysis, it could be improved.
Cite this Essay
A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.(2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 27, 2023, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-the-speech-i-have-a-dream-by-martin-luther-king-jr/
“A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.” GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-the-speech-i-have-a-dream-by-martin-luther-king-jr/
A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. [online].Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-the-speech-i-have-a-dream-by-martin-luther-king-jr/> [Accessed 27 Aug. 2023].
A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speech I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. [Internet] GradesFixer.2019 Jan 03 [cited 2023 Aug 27].Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-the-speech-i-have-a-dream-by-martin-luther-king-jr/
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