Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered what I think was the single most important speech in the 20th Century. Despite countless threats against himself and the Civil Rights movement, he led Americans to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC in 1963. His speech remains as powerful today as it was that day.
Your assignment is to watch the speech.
Remember, this recording may be older than your parents. It’s not a great video. Try to concentrate on
- Dr. King’s voice
- the words he uses
- the cadence (rhythm) of his words
- the sources of his content
- the reaction of the audience.
Here’s a link to a slide show of my analysis of Dr. King’s speech. We will be referring to his speech over the course of the semester.
Dr. King used many rhetorical devices.
Repeated phrases build up emotion in the audience. I Have a Dream was actually not the title of the speech he planned to give, but because of his repetition of the phrase, it has become the common name for it.
Here is a list of rhetorical devices. Can you identify any more that he used?