A Speech That Changed America Forever. There are seven in a half billion people in the world. Every person has a dream. The word dream comes from the mid 13 century. It originates from the Europeans and derived from the Sanskrit word brahm. The word brahm is complex and has many meanings besides the word dream. One person with the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, but not like everybody else he turned it into a speech. Dr. King’s, I Have A Dream speech is one of the most important ideas for the civil rights movement in the twentieth century. His I Have a Dream speech partakes in a lot of rhetorical devices and demonstrates the effect it can have on millions of people. A few of the rhetorical devices Dr. King used were diction, metaphor, and anaphora. These rhetorical devices used throughout the speech are what keep the crowd so excited and helped them better understand exactly what Dr.
King was trying to persuade. Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech starts with the rhetorical device of diction. It creates emotional appeal to the audience, who are mostly low class African-American people. Dr. King begins his speech by stating how grateful he is for everyone who has come out to see the greatest demonstration of freedom. Generally speaking, all through this piece it is anything but difficult to understand the style of word usage that Martin Luther King uses to explain his perspective on the topic.
The diction is one that calls for equality and it continually changes itself. Another rhetorical device that Martin Luther King Jr. are metaphors. This is probably one of Dr. King’s favorite rhetorical devices. In his introduction, one of the first things he used was a metaphor to describe Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who have been seared in the flames of withering injustice. This metaphor displayed within itself King’s use of diction as well. This rhetorical device is seen countless times throughout the speech. It made his words appealing to the emotions of the audience. Regarding equal rights for African American citizens, King says, The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. Again he used a metaphor in hopes of drawing a powerful reaction from his audience. Dr. King then continues his speech by describing slavery as searing in the flames of withering injustice. then Dr. King finishes his sentence by stating the end of slavery was a joyous daybreak. Martin Luther King Jr. gives this powerful metaphor to describe the harsh and unfair treatment. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also uses the rhetorical device anaphora in his speech. Anaphora is the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive clauses. Dr. King uses this to help create a appeal of logic and emotion. Anaphora is seen being used when King repeated I have a dream. Another great example of anaphora is when Dr. King states it has been one hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation but still the life of the negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. Dr. King then continues with the negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. Dr. King is informing everyone that negro people have very few opportunities to do anything without being arrested, beat or shunned in their own country. Dr. King repeats the words, One hundred years later the Negro, because he is specifically targeting the audience which consists of mostly African Americans and how he wants them to understand that they are still not free as the constitution clearly states and they must change that by standing up for their rights. Martin Luther King states that he refuses to believe that the bank of justices is bankrupt. Dr. King uses anaphora again when he says, there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunities in this nation. He uses terms that everybody can relate too. Overall, throughout Dr. King’s speech it is fairly easy to recognize the style of diction and metaphors that take part because King uses them to demonstrate his point of view so lower class, uneducated African-Americans could understand and connect. Diction has a lot to do with the calls for justice, and it is constantly repeated throughout the speech. While there are a lot of metaphors being used throughout the speech, it just was not used as often as diction. One of the most significant moments in the text is in the closure of Dr. King’s speech. Once King demonstrates his dream, he uses diction and anaphora together to create a final emotional appeal. Dr. King states, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. Which was stated in the Declaration of Independence. If it was in the Declaration, why were African-Americans not equal to their white counterparts?