Rhetorical Analysis of the I have a dream Speech

Rhetorical Analysis of the I have a dream Speech 150 150 Affordable Capstone Projects Written from Scratch


You will analyze “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. according to the principles of Aristotle’s Theory of Rhetoric. Please review Aristotle’s Theory in your text and apply the additional information below to your rhetorical analysis of the assigned speech.

Remember, Dr. King changed his speech as he gave it. Also, a rhetorical analysis looks not only at the means of persuasion, but how effective they were for his audience, the context, and at the historical moment. Analyze King’s speech and state why King’s choices were appropriate and effective.

Also, reference Aristotle’s Canons of Rhetoric, the proofs, logos, ethos, pathos, and style (Course Resources/e-Reserves) as applied to King’s speech in a WORD document of 3 to 5 pages, double-spaced. Include a separate APA bibliography with in-text citations, a minimum of two sources from the UMUC library database, cross-referenced to your properly formatted APA bibliography.

answer preview

In the early years as a student, Aristotle would argue with his mentors over the issues of public speaking. To Aristotle, rhetoric was an important tool in public speaking since the speaker could either use it to achieve a noble or fraudulent end. Aristotle was able to contribute greatly to the act of public speaking by his explorations on the effect of the speech, audience, and speaker in a public speaking event (Aristotle & Jebb, 2014). Aristotle systematically evaluated ethos, pathos, and logos as the modes of persuasion in a speech and five canons of rhetoric, which are delivery, memory, style, arrangement, and invention (Bederman, 2017). According to Aristotle, Cope, & Sandys (2010) ethos forms the personal character of the speaker as they try to appear credible to the audience. Aristotle states that a speaker must first consider empathy, intention, and competence for them to appear credible (Aristotle & Jebb, 2014). On the other hand, pathos can be defined as the speaker’s influence on the emotions of the audience. Each speaker aims at persuading the audience with the speech, therefore, setting the right emotions is critical to the speaker. According to Aristotle, Cope, & Sandys (2010), a speaker must understand the current emotional state of the audience, and how they can set the correct emotions. Finally, logos is the arguments and contents that a speaker presents which is important in persuading an audience. Dr. Martin Luther King in his speech I Have A Dream applied the five cannons of rhetoric and logos, pathos, and ethos to appear credible before his 200,000 audiences.