Analysis Of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" Speech

Analysis of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech
The most effective uses of persuasive language in Dr. Martin Luther King’s, “I have a dream” speech are the repetition of certain words, the use of inclusive language and emotional language. The uses of these forms of persuasive language help emphasis the points that Dr. King is using.
One of the most effective uses of persuasive languages in Dr. King’s speech is the use of repetition. The use of repetition emphasises the crude meaning of racism and helps the audience’s minds associate “I have a dream” with Dr. King. By using repetition in his speech he creates many different effects. By using the word “negro” in his speech repetitively, it helps the viewer to recognise how racist the world was. By using “I have a dream” we get a sense that Dr. King wanted this phrase to stick out to the audience. The use of repetition in Dr. King’s speech is one of the core reasons that the, “I have a dream” speech is so successful.
Another great use of persuasive language is Inclusive language in Dr. King’s speech. The use of the words “we” and “our” help Luther create the sensation that racism is something that effects everyone. When he uses this inclusive language the audience feels that everyone can contribute to stop this. By creating this mood when someone hears the speech they think that they can help to overcome this and that it is not something that only Dr. King can magically cure. Therefore by using a wide range of inclusive language we get the sense that we are all in this together which, is what one of Dr. King’s points were.
Emotional language appeals to the human brain as one of the most effective ways to persuade us. Dr. King uses this to his benefit in his speech. By using phrases like, “But one hundred years later the Negro is still not free; one hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the menace of segregation and the chains of discrimination...” By using this type of emotional language the audience knows that the “Negro” was faced with discrimination and segregation, thus the audience realises that even after there was a promise that all men were to be treated equally (the Emancipation Proclamation) there was still no such thing and that the black men were getting discriminated. This is used to create anger. By creating these emotions, Dr. King is able to use Emotional Language effectively.
Dr. Martin Luther King had created one of the greatest speeches ever known to man, and it would have not been possible without the use of repetition, inclusive language and emotional language.


By Sujana Piyaratne

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