In American history
In American history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was known as a phenomenal icon, a leader, and hero. On this historical day of 28 August 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a leader of civil rights movement delivered a memorable speech “I have a dream” at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C in order to end racial injustice, discrimination and to emphasize that all men are created equal regardless of their race. Moreover, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr used persuasive devices to convince his audience and made his speech appealing to others who did not agree with him which made it a success. This critical evaluation will discuss the importance of the usage of rhetoric devices such as ethos, pathos and logos on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech (King 1).
Furthermore, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the voice of the civil rights movement whose main goal was to fight against segregation and discrimination in America by implying masterfully pathos to bring emotional values in his “I have a dream” speech to the black and white community. He was able to drag them into their feeling by providing a personal example of himself as father and hooked his audience to keep a faith that he has the right to dream of a bright future. In addition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr stated: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” (1). This is a perfect example of the use of pathos as it engaged his audience with emotions of which they can relate to.
In addition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr uses ethos in his speech to determine credibility as an effort to convince his audience. He referred President Abraham Lincoln who was a credible source to show admirations toward him but most importantly to build trust and authority with his audience. Moreover, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr revealed the declaration of independence in his speech to remind the government to not neglect people of color as they are suffering from segregation and discrimination in America and something needed to be done. Thus Dr. King insists, “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir” (1). He also used the bible in order to make a reference to prove the Bible is on his side. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr also implied, “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (1). With all this statement revealed in his speech, Dr. King used ethos perfectly.
Finally, Dr. King used logos in an effort to persuade his public with a sense of logic with reasoning in order to make them visualize his speech. The logic he emphasized by providing trustworthy examples of segregation and discrimination which are facts that the audience could relate to in their everyday lives. For instance, Dr. Martin Luther King responds “When will you be satisfied? We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality” (1). In other words, he is explaining that unless segregation and discrimination end against minorities their civil right movement will not terminate (King 1).
In summary, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech was a sense of urgency to persuade his followers and appeal to the government of racial injustice people of color was living. Dr. King used three different rhetoric devices to make his speech memorable and persuasive to his audience. Firstly, Dr. King used pathos to connect with his audience with the use of emotions and metaphors in order to make his speech unforgettable. Secondly the use of ethos to make himself credible by providing an example implying President Abraham Lincoln who introduced a new logic of freedom and the declaration of independence which guarantee Americans freedom, liberty, and happiness that was not valued. Thirdly, after using pathos and ethos Dr. king used logos which a state mind of logic or reasoning by offering facts which can’t be denied. Altogether, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s delivered a historical speech that was powerful and memorable which will remain in people lives for a very long time