52 Martin Luther King

.. Few speeches in human history are as memorable or recognizable as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream.” His words epitomize the nonviolent civil rights movement in 1960s America and helped ingrain in the American consciousness the seed of racial equality. King’s dream, which was “a dream deeply rooted in the American dream,” was to totally eliminate racism and segregation from American society. First, Dr. Martin Luther King laments the lack of real progress made after the abolishment of slavery, citing numerous examples of the continued degradation of African-American people. The orator then proceeds to emphasize the need to keep all protests nonviolent. Finally, King finishes his speech with visionary imagery and an almost evangelical tone to emotionally inspire his audience. King’s speech is so famous and rhetorically effective because of his powerful diction and impassioned tone, as well as for the subject matter itself.
One of the key elements in King’s oration that makes the speech so moving is his use of repetition. Towards the beginning of the speech, King repeats the phrase, “One hundred years later” to emphasize the dismal lack of progress in the century following the Emancipation Proclamation. Later, …

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