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How the Political Speech Exerts Power? Martin Luther King ‘I Have a Dream’

  • Date Submitted: 01/31/2013 02:16 PM
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How the political speech exerts power?
Martin Luther King ‘I have a dream’
Martin Luther King delivered a speech on August 27 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States. The speech is one of the most memorable speeches of all time, it uses many techniques to exert power for example; extended metaphors, allusion and anaphora. The speech uses influential power to persuade people to want racial equality.
Throughout the speech Martin Luther King uses allusion at the beginning of the 2nd paragraph he says ‘Five score years ago’ this refers to president Lincolns Gettysburg address speech. Allusion is used to exert the power as Lincoln was a president this is a powerful position and also hints that Lincoln would have approved of the campaign for equal rights. There are also numerous biblical allusions used throughout the speech, this is used to provide moral basis for the arguments and religious power. 1st person singular pronoun is used throughout the speech, ‘I have a dream’ this gives King authority and power however the first person pronoun ‘we’ is used 30 times this unites King with his audience.   King also uses anaphora in his speech e.g. ‘I have a dream’ this is to repeat the message of the speech.  
Extended metaphor is a technique which King uses to assert power, in the 3rd and 4th paragraph there is an extended metaphor of a check.   King uses extended metaphors to make the argument more powerful so the audience can understand.   ‘With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day’, this is an example of King using synonymous parallelism. King also uses a rhetorical question ‘When will you be satisfied?’ and answers it himself, this exerts power as it shows he has the knowledge to answer the question.
The discourse structure of the speech is planned and topics would have been prepared.   Imperatives are...


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