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Mlk Rhetoric Essay

  • Submitted by: michelle0835
  • on December 5, 2011
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,127 words

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Below is an essay on "Mlk Rhetoric" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. may have been one of the most influential leaders of his time and maybe even of all time, but it was the way in which he delivered his speeches and who he directed them towards that made him appeal to his listeners.   The influence behind King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and his “I Have a Dream Speech” relied directly on his use of the power of rhetoric and the awareness of his audience.   The shift of tones throughout these two works of King is what brings about the way in which the audience is directed and who it is directed towards.   “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Dr. King is directly in a non-broadened way addressing clergymen who were putting him to task for the non-violent protests in what they considered to be “their” city. Also he was addressing in a more broad way any individual who may have been a religious moderate. In King’s “I Have a Dream” speech he was at first addressing the white majority but by the end he was directing his speech towards those in favor of furthering the civil rights movement.
To persuade his readers in “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King, Jr. predominantly uses Aristotle's three types of persuasion that are appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos. First, he appeals to his own reputation and wisdom. Second, he tries to arouse emotions or sympathy in the readers. Finally, he appeals to logic, supported with evidence and citations from influential thinkers. In paragraph 31 he starts off by using logos within the first sentence, he gives reason as to why he thinks he is still an extremist. King uses ethos when he mentions Jesus, Amos, Paul, John Bunyan, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson.   Also in this paragraph there is a rhetorical question when King asks “Will we be extremists for hate or for love?” and “Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?” Pathos is mentioned in the last sentences of the paragraph. King says, "In that dramatic scene on...

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