Analysis of MLK's i have a dream speech Essay

analysis of MLK’s i have a dream speech BY jackt87 Analysis of MLK’s ‘l have a dream’ speech

1. Period in time: MLK’s speech is in 1963, this is significant because it’s the year that blacks started fghting back against whites so that may be what inspired MLK’s speech.

2. Location: the speech was delivered in front of the Lincoln memorial. This was built in honour of Abraham Lincoln who after the civil war abolished black slavery.

So it adds to the speech that it’s given outside the statue of the man who supposedly ended mistreatment of blacks.

3. Purpose: the speech was about equality and to give blacks equal rights and placement among whites.

4. Personnel pronouns: MLK uses personal pronouns such as We’ to create a rapport with the audience and puts him on their side. With this rapport he influences them that he is right and opens their mind to his opinion.

5. Repetition: The main messages of his speech are repeated. These are ‘l have a dream’ and ‘let freedom ring.

The I have a dream is the main point of his speech and expresses his dream. By repeating this phrase he makes it catchy and whatever comes next memorable. It also reminds the audience of the ‘American Dream’, which is the basis of all American’s lives. It basically means that anyone can be anything in America if they want it hard enough; it latches on to the belief of hope and other things. I think that him repeating this was very good use of repetition as it is a phrase every American can relate too.

6. Anaphora: MLK uses anaphora to show that although there is a contrast black and whites are similar. He does this with ‘little black boys and black girls will be able to Join hands with little white boys and white girls. This puts it into perspective with the audience about how they are all humans and further wins them over.

7. Contrasting pairs: ” from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city’ this contrasting pair in use with “let freedom ring” means that no matter how bug freedom can ring from there.

This helps the audience trust MLK because he will make freedom ring from everywhere and not leave out a place because its small.

8. Geographical references: He uses geographical references to show where the bad is happening, its primarily outhern states and he picks a significant part of that state “snow-capped Rockies of Colorado” by doing it in this manner he brings to light the good parts of the southern states where racism is most prominent.

9. Biblical references: He uses a lot of biblical references as America was a very Christian country at the time, also because he was raised in the south which is know for Christianity and heavy religiousness. By using religious references he relates to the audience and uses language they understand.

10. Legal terminology: “nullification and interposition” using legal words like these hows he’s well educated and knows what he is talking about so the audience trusts him more.

11. Superlative: “greatest demonstration of freedom” using superlatives enhances and emphasises the message of phrases in this case it turned great demonstration of freedom into greatest demonstration of freedom which adds a tone of arrogance but also makes the audience listen and want to hear this ‘greatest demonstration of freedom”

12. Personification: couldn’t find any

13. Metaphors: “having his lips dripping with the words” by using this metaphor he re dripping to enhance the statement and this makes the governor seem more sinister to the audience.

14. Simile: couldn’t find any

15. Abstract nouns: Freedom is one of the big ones, as you cannot touch freedom yet it is the very basis of his speech. By using these abstract nouns such as freedom, dreams and character he connects with the audience on a spiritual level and uses feelings to show empathy to them.

16. Pace: MLK keeps a slow, deliberate pace throughout allowing him time to think about what he will say/how he will say it, and this also allows the audience to hear him clearly. It emphasizes every word and makes his speech hear able to people at the back of the large crowd.

17. Pauses/run on: When MLK pauses it is either to give him time to think or to give the audience time to calm down. He pauses a lot at the start but less towards the end as the momentum increases. At I have a dream part he runs on the keep the pace, momentum and power of the ‘I have a dream’ in the audience’s thoughts.

18. Emphasis: Every word MLK says is emphasised due to the pace he uses. This makes every word audible to the audience and so he is able to not worry about repeating imself due to others not hearing him.

19. Volume: He speaks loud and clearly throughout but really creates volume at the end when the audience is very riled up and he uses this to seal his speech with the final shouted message.

20. Tone: he uses a impassionate droll tone throughout so he can clearly dictate every word of his message. He only gets passionate when using the ‘l have a dream’ parts and at the end when speaking about the creed. Using tone here shows emotion and makes the audience know when he wants them to really listen.


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