Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15th 1929. He was a pastor, activist and the prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement and is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism. He is most famous for his speech called “I have a dream”. It is about not being segregated or discriminated against and to have equal rights between white and black people. It is now recognized as one of the greatest speeches in history.
Martin Luther King used a number of rhetorical devices in his speech. The main rhetorical device used throughout the speech is repetition and parallelism. In each paragraph he repeats different sentences to emphasize what he is saying. He repeats phrases such as ‘one hundred years later’, ‘we can never be satisfied’, ‘I have a dream’ and ‘now is the time’ to make the listener remember the parts he wants to emphasize. It is effective because the people are anticipating it so then they can join in. Also later on in life people will look back at the speeches and remember it for certain phrases because of the repetition.
Martin Luther King also uses inclusive pronouns in his speech, for example we, our and addressing the audience as brothers and sisters. ‘The sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” He makes the audience feel as though it is there duty as well to overcome the discrimination and try and make all the southern states of America united and equal. He also makes the audience feel like it is their dream too and not just his.
In no other place were the overall dreams of African Americans better stated than in the speech delivered by Martin Luther Jr. on August 28, 1963. Martin Luther aptly stated what had been the silent hope of many African Americans who had suffered segregation, slavery and unfair treatment from their Caucasian masters. Martin Luther however, spoke not from a victim standpoint, but from the ...
Martin Luther used different parts of the English language to enhance the meaning of his speech and bring out the details. The different rhetorical devices, allusions to historic documents, and metaphors seemed to have brought about the emotions that King was trying to arouse in his listeners. This helped him influence his listeners towards wanting equality for all and changing what was happening in the present so they didn’t repeat things in the past.