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Rhetorical Analysis of the I Have a Dream Speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Length: 1025 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)
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King uses his the phrase "I have a dream today," twice as its own paragraph. This statement was probably spoken with great emphasis since it gave the listeners the desire to change "today" instead of continuing to be discriminated against. Martin Luther King's speech could have very well been titled something else but because of his use of anaphora which strongly emphasized these words it earned itself the title "I Have a Dream."
Martin Luther King's use of alluding to other historic documents, which also deal with equality issues, helped his speech reach the listener. These allusions were probably geared more towards the white listeners than it was towards the black because it provided textual evidence from past documents which stated that all men were created equal and all people should have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. King also makes a few allusions to the Bible; "Let us not seek to satisfy thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred," is the first allusion to the Bible in his speech. King does not want the equality-seeking listeners to go out and use force or start a battle to get their freedom because then it would give the white people a reason to fight. They would be able to say that the black people were starting a violent protest and needed to be stopped and therefore retaliate with "physical violence". King was smart though and by saying these words he reassured his followers that their destiny and their freedom would not be left in the hands of others and that they would be able to control their own future.
"When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! thank God almighty, we are free at last!" This entire last paragraph of King's speech is an example of parallelism. This shows that all of these different races and religions are no better than the other. By doing this it seems as...