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Martin Luther King - Essay on his speech "I have a dream"

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Introduction

Essay I have a dream is a speech delivered by Martin Luther King on 3 August 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. During a time of great struggle for the Black race, King's speech came as a call for equality across America. With s uch widespread media interest and over twenty thousand in attendance, King's style of spoken language and the non-verbal aspects of his speech were obviously greatly polished and perfected. The speech has gone down as one of the most significant in history and is a great example for many other orators and politicians today. One of King's great skills was his ability to create a positive rapport with his audience. He did this in many spoken and non-spoken ways. Immediately in the speech he begins with 'I am happy to join with you today', this is King's way of greeting the audience and making a connection between the 'audience' and 'speaker.' King's speech contains many other ways of creating a 'connection' with the audience referring to America as 'our nation' and saying; 'we refuse to believe...' and 'we must never...', here King is using personal pronouns to establish a bond with his audience, ensuring their confidence in him. ...read more.

Middle

King then goes on to use many other examples of antithesis in his speech; 'With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope' this shows their is a very small amount of hope with lots of despair, but does that mean their is no hope? The Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of prosperecey' here King again is showing that the black race has a very small amount of money compared to the white person. This is intended to stir the audience into action and emphasize the injustice that prevails. Metaphors are also commonly used in Kings speech. It is a great way of creating rapport as it helps audience to understand what King is saying. In the fifth paragraph of Kings prepared speech he uses a metaphor directly comparing freedom to a cheque; 'America has given the Negro people a bad cheque, a cheque which has come back marked insufficient'. This refers to the Black people of America do not have freedom, and hints that they are missing out on a basic American right, does this mean Black people were not real Americans? ...read more.

Conclusion

King raises his head for emphasises at some points in the speech, he does while speaking the words 'it is a dream deeply routed in the American dream'. As King ends his speech he speaks with a very strong voice, raising it for every line he quotes in the 'Old Negro Spiritual' 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last! The exclamation marks emphasise that it is going to happen. While King speaks these last word he raises his voice and raises his arm, this creates an uproar of applause from the audience. This is the climax of his speech, his voice is strongest and he speaks with passion. This creates a sense of brotherhood between king and the audience, and builds up emotion in the audience. In conclusion I think it is not only King's many powerful and emotive words that make his speech a historical wonder, but his actions, his hand movements and his connection with the audience. King proves to everyone that he is not only a magnificent public speaker but an inspirational figure who is passionate about what he believes in. Today Martin Luther King is not only an example to public speakers, but to everyone in how to stand up for one another and in how to live life. ...read more.

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