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There is no need to say that Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most outstanding orators on American history. In this essay I would like to describe his talent as a speaker and also his magnificent use of detail, imagery, and figurative language that are in part what made his messages resonate with so many in a time of national turmoil.
According to Analysis ofÂ Letter from Birmingham Jail, Letter from Birmingham Jail was an open letter posted on April 16, 1963 by Martin Luther King Jr., who is considered as one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. King wrote the letter from the jail in the city of Birmingham in Alabama, where he was arrested after a nonviolent protest against racial segregation.Â The letter is a response to a statement issued by eight white clergymen in Alabama on April 12, 1963 entitled "A call for unity".Â It declared the existence of social injustice but expressed the belief that the battle against racial segregation should be carried out only in the courts and not bring them to the streets.Â I think this statement isÂ very important,Â thusÂ it isÂ shownÂ thatÂ King does not want toÂ a furtherÂ escalationÂ of racialÂ conflictÂ and want toÂ achieve hisÂ goalsÂ nonviolently, for what he encourages his supporters all over the country. King responded that without the strong direct action, like yours, could never achieve the true civil rights.Â As he said, "This Wait has almost always meant Never". In my opinion in this statement King wanted to say that society needs change, African American can no longer wait and their time has come. At first the letter was published as "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in the edition of June 12, 1963. The letter includes a quote that is often used: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". I think by this King was tried to say that every episode of race discrimination is important and authorities with civil society must pay attention to it.
In this part of the essay I would like to consider "I Have a Dream" speech. "I Have a Dream" - is the popular name of the most famous speech of Martin Luther King Jr., "when he spoke powerfully and eloquently of their desire for a future in which people from black and white complexion could coexist harmoniously as equals".Â This speech, on August 28, 1963 from the Lincoln Memorial during the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" many experts consider as a key moment in the Civil Rights Movement in America.Â It is often considered one of the best speeches of history, and was in first place among the speeches of the twentieth century by scholars of rhetoric.Â
According to I Have a Dream - Turning Dreams Into Reality, widely acclaimed as a masterpiece of rhetoric, Martin Luther King's speech has the style of the sermon of a black Baptist minister.Â Calls upon iconic and widely respected sources like Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence of the United States, the Emancipation Proclamation and of course, the Bible. As a fact, King uses language phrases andÂ of important cultural texts for their own rhetorical purposes. Near the beginning King alludes to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address by saying: "Five score years ago ..."Â a particular way of saying hundred in English (since score is 20 years and 20 x 5 = 100).Â
The biblical allusions are also common.Â For example, King intends to Psalm 30:5 in the second part of his speech, he says, referring to the abolition of slavery articulated by the Emancipation Proclamation: "Came as a joyous daybreak to end a long night of captivity". Another biblical allusion is found in the tenth stanza: "No, no, we're not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream". This statement shows hisÂ determination toÂ go all the way.
It should be noted that speaker's religious background is clearly seen as it uses three times the expression "sons of God" speaks of "the glory of God shall be revealed and will join the human race" gives encouragement to people telling a Christian message "Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is not deserved is redemptive" and closing his speech with "Free at last!Â Free at last!Â Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!".
It can be said that in his speech King uses parallelism - this describes the same initial wording in a sequence of statements or phrases to add emphasis, order, or climax to an idea - is a rhetorical tool employed throughout theÂ speech.Â An example of parallelism is found near the beginning: "the King urges his audience to seize the moment "Now is the time ..." is repeated four times in the sixth stanza.Â The most cited example of parallelism is found in the phrase "I have a dream ..."Â which is repeated eight times when King describes his audience a picture of a United States integrated and united", as described in I Have a Dream - Turning Dreams Into Reality.Â
King starts talking about the Emancipation Proclamation was signed a hundred years ago (1863), and how segregation still existed despite what this and other historical documentation of the country promised.Â Emphasizes that this was the time for change, and although it clear that violence is not the way, his message is powerful and persuasive.Â Seeking justice and change, and says it is the beginning of the fight, but ruled out violence as a means.Â Describe the condition of blacks at that time with such strong requests to them to continue fighting for their ideals.Â The most moving moment is when he describes, with the famous "I have a dream" the country for their children: one in which white and black children live together without any prejudice. He ends by broadening the vision of a united to speak not only of races put aside their differences, but also religions.
According to Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream", very important is following quote: "Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal". As well, it should be noted that this quote clearly characterize the spirit of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream". I think by this phrase he tries to bring to the people the statement that from now on, Americans all should live together in peace, because we all are equal humans and citizens of a great country. In my opinion, phrase "I have a dream" expresses that Martin Luther King sees the better future for Americans and if everybody believes in this statement - together, Americans will be able to bring this phrase into reality.
To sum it up I would like to express my own attitude to both his speeches and Martin Luther King's activity. I strongly believe that is hard to overestimate the importance of these speeches to every U.S. citizen. Martin Luther King reminded us our values, which were proclaimed by another outstanding person - President Lincoln at hisÂ Gettysburg Address. Unfortunately, like President Lincoln, soon after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. Maybe this is the fate of many great people, but I am convinced that our nation lost sufferedÂ an irreparableÂ loss in both cases.
It should be noted that during the twelveÂ yearsÂ of nonviolent struggleÂ for civil rights movement, itÂ has made endingÂ racial discrimination in variousÂ spheres. This movement has awakenedÂ inÂ black Americans self-esteem, prideÂ andÂ self-confidence,Â promotedÂ mutual understanding betweenÂ white and blackÂ U.S. citizens. It can be said that people, like Martin Luther King, made a huge contribution in the world as it exists today. In my opinion, we must remember such great people and their sacrifice for our future. Martin Luther King strongly believed: "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools" and I fully agree with this statement.