Write 5 pages thesis on the topic rhetorical analysis of mlk jr’s speech i have a dream. Martin Luther King employs a number of rhetorical strategies to make his speech effective and appealing to the audience. The use of rhetorical questions, metaphors, similes, epistrophe, anaphora, antithesis, tone, rhythmic use of language and the well-knit structure of the speech contributes to the effectiveness of the speech. The speech clearly demonstrates that Martin Luther King was quite aware of the nature of his audience. The speech is targeted at three types of audiences-the segregated blacks, the moderate whites who support the civil rights movement and the racist whites who condemn the civil rights movement. King’s intention is to stir the public opinion in favor of black liberation, freedom and equality. The speech is quite persuasive in nature and the speaker employs various rhetorical strategies all throughout the speech. From an Aristotelian point of view, the speech appeals to the ethos (credibility, ethics, character, honesty and confidence of the speaker), logos (use of reasoning to appeal to the reader) and pathos (emotional appeal) of the audience. However, a close analysis of the speech reveals that King predominantly tries to stir the pathos or emotional appeal of his audience through carefully planned rhetorical devices and this paper seeks to explore how the speaker tries to change the emotional status of the audience.
It is worthwhile to analyze the introductory part of the speech where King introduces the depth and severity of the segregation and inequality faced by the Black community in America. At the very outset of his speech king captures the attention of his audience by stating that the meeting will be ‘the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history’ of the nation. He then reminds the audience of the Emancipation Proclamation made by Abraham Lincoln a century ago and describes it as ‘great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves.