Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Rhetoric Analysis of ‘I Have a Dream’ by King Jnr.

The “I Have a Dream” speech by Luther King, Jr. is largely recognized among the most important works of oratory in Western history. The address, which was given in front of millions of civil rights movement demonstrators in the Lincoln Memorial which is located in Washington, D.C. in 1963, has embodied the fights of the civil rights movement era and also served as a fundamental element of the Western narrative (Vail). This rhetorical analysis study contends that King’s adoption of his prophetic narration, bolstered by the unprecedented scale of his listeners, provides a compelling feeling of ethos that has endured across time.

In today’s society, there is a schism. It is a debate and a conflict that has lasted for many decades and will remain for many more after this one. It’s a disagreement about oppression, injustice, and racial prejudice. This disagreement had been addressed, debated, and even written about. This racial conflict is acknowledged and spoken about in front of thousands of people in Luther King Junior’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which has become one of the most quoted and important addresses over time. But what makes this speech so noteworthy, and why is it referred to as rhetoric? Rhetoric is described as “the capacity to see all available tools of convincing in each circumstance.” It was also employed in Ancient Greece to resolve disagreements when there was too much disagreement among people to make the best judgment. This is exactly what Martin Luther King means when he says, “I have a dream.” He is attempting to unite the people by utilizing his words as a means of resolving societal discord.

Throughout his address, King uses prophetic language. King’s phrasing acquires a prophetic tone even before the prominent “dream” section of Luther King’s speech. He boldly claims of emerging “from the dark and barren valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children” and points to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed location.” The King’s text’s biggest ethical appeal is his acquisition of this prophetic voice; after tying himself to political leaders like Lincoln and the Fathers who were the founders, his ethos adopts a preferred religious tone, echoing Biblical messengers and prophets of revolution throughout the American history (Vail). King’s speech thus has force not just because of the pathos of King’s vision of a greater future, but also because of the ethos of the visionary tone he uses to communicate it. The efficacy of King’s speech, it is obvious from this study, begins gradually from the sad revelation of his utopian “dream” than as in the ethos he decidedly creates to lend power to his assertions. King guarantees not only the success of his assertions in the time but also their progressive resonance presently, by making up contemporary uprisings as part of a revelation whose satisfaction will lead to a better future as he envisions. Even though we have not yet realized King’s ideal, we cannot ignore the impact of his assertions.

King’s speech title was most likely derived from his use of analogical reasoning, which was evident throughout his address. “My dream is that one day the country will stand up and live out the actual meaning of its faith, which is that all men are created equal.” He emphasized these words, “I have a dream,” over the next few sentences of his speech, which helped raise feeling in his listeners and give them hope. This ambition was that they would some day be regarded equally to all other ethnicities and be able to walk beside them. The statement “I have a dream today” is repeated twice as its own paragraph by King. This phrase was most likely said with a lot of emphasis since it made the listeners want to change “now” rather than continue to be prejudiced against.

Martin Luther King’s speech could have been titled anything else, but it was given the title “I Have a Dream” due to various use of analogical reasoning to stress these phrases. Through recurrence, he is able to demonstrate what he sees as a racially equal America. He believes that if Americans embrace the cliché that “all individuals are created equal,” everyone will seem to get on. Despite the fact that he is a previous slave owner and slave, he motivates everyone to progress. Because everyone recognizes the value of following one’s dreams, repeating “I have a dream” is successful. And Dr. King’s dreams, which he shares with his audience, are both powerful and inspiring. As a consequence of the recurrence, listeners are urged to consider their own goals, and they are inspired by Dr. Kings’ dreams. This might be used by Martin Luther King Jr. to spread his message of fairness across the country.

Martin Luther King’s speech is so emotional and heartfelt, because one stanza in his speech sticks out emotionally. “I have a dream that one day my four little children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character,” says Luther King. This remark is so powerful that it made several of his listeners to cry. Luther King gets his kids intermingled in the talk by telling them what he desires most for them. One of the grounds the phrase is so touching is because Dr. King’s fondest wish is not for oneself, but for the children he loves. Another viewpoint is that it manipulates his listeners to think of their own kids. Neither of the listeners wants their kids to face the same social injustice challenges they did. This is really encouraging for the listener to do everything possible to end racism.

In conclusion, even after Luther King’s address, the protest against racial injustice faced a lot of challenges. Notwithstanding this, Luther King’s speech spurred many people to stand up and agitate for their liberties, and it made many people recognize how terrible injustice was in the Nation. His speech and protest occurred to the country that people would not endure social injustices anymore. The end outcome became one of the most spectacular and impactful peaceful protests in American history. This speech will be remembered for the rest of history because of its lasting effect on the nation and its eternal lesson about the horrors of intolerance. After all, King’s ideal “…where tiny black boys and black girls will be able to clasp arms with little white boys and white girls and stroll together as sisters and brothers” has come true.

Works Cited

Vail, Mark. “The “Integrative” Rhetoric of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs, vol. 9, no. 1, 2019, pp. 51-78.


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics