Martin Luther King, Jr: A Time to Break Silence

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his ‘Beyond Vietnam-A Time to Break Silence’ at Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967. Too help his audience understand and further persuade them by connecting heavily too their emotions. MLK Jr. uses many rhetorical devices too help convince his audience.

There are reoccurring times that MLK used pathos too appeal too the audiences emotions and morals. We see this when he says ‘”This a calling that takes me beyond national allegiance, but even if it were not present I would have to live with meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ.

” This stirs an emotional response from the audience by speaking too their individual moral and religious beliefs. Another example would be when he says “Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them.

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” Right in this moment he wanted to reach everyone’s strong sense of family and make them feel empathy for the helplessness of the vietnamese people. So overall he appealed to some big feeling starter main points in pathos.

Another way he persuades his audience is by appealing more too their logic/reasoning side of the situation. The first time you see him do this is when he says “Conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides.” He was just so truthful here.

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He stated and honest fact too the audience. He somewhat hits a different side of it when he speaks about the violence in the ghetto, ‘”I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.” He expresses his position as not an opportunist. He believes violence is never the answer in any case.

Some other ways he persuades the audience is less dramatic, but he wants you too think the way he’s thinking. He asks the audience a rhetorical question when he said ‘Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?” He wanted them too think.. what’s the the real reason too speak about this war and all the violence as a consequence of some sort. He personifies the crippling chaos of procrastination by saying, “Procrastination is still the theif of time”. You procrastinate so much time away and one day it’ll just be too late cause time just got away from you. There are some other things he does that you can’t read. When you hear him speak like timing when too pause when he’s speaking or repeating himself over and over too build further on a point he’s trying too make. He gets loud at the crowd making them listen so he knows they understand.

All throughout the essay Martin Luther King Jr. used many rhetorical devices too persuade his audience and keep them engaged and listening when he speaks. Appealing too all different emotional and logical points too all these different people is not an easy thing too do but i think MLK Jr. did a good job of that. When listening and reading you can tell he was speaking too everyone.

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Martin Luther King, Jr: A Time to Break Silence. (2020, May 19). Retrieved from

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