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He had a dream, and it came true

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“ I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most memorable speeches of all time. King is a great and honorable historical figure. He is known and respected for his efforts of the coming together of blacks and white. His speech, “ I Have a Dream” was not only a start to a new and better world but it is also a treasure full of voice, wisdom, and power. It is worthy of lengthy study as we can all learn speechwriting skills from King’s historic masterpiece.

There are at least five different elements used in this speech, they are; emphasizing phrases by repeating at the beginning of sentences, repeating key “ theme” words throughout the speech, utilizing appropriate quotations or allusions, usage of specific examples to “ ground” the arguments, and of course the use of metaphors to highlight contrasting concepts. King does this many of times throughout the whole speech, “ But one hundred years later” “ Now is the time. “ We must… ” are all examples of repeating the past and now is the future. King repeats his themes many of times, “ freedom” is said twenty different times and “ nation” is said ten times. “ Five score years ago…” refers to Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address speech which began “ Four score and seven years ago…” This allusion is particularly poignant given that King was speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

This happens to be the sentence that I think is the most effective. In honor of a great president, King reflects his words making it known there is something important to say. I also think that because it is the very first line of his speech, that it has to make a statement, which it does. To highlight the contrast between two abstract concepts, consider connecting them with contrasting tangible metaphors.

For example, to contrast segregation with racial justice, King suggests the contrasting metaphors of dark and desolate valley and sunlit path “ joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity” or “ the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity”. Martin Luther King Jr. a great man with more to say than just words, he created a movement, a change in the world. He wanted piece and respect for all of Gods children, and in his speech he uses many elements to get his ideas and points across. “ Let freedom ring. We are free at last. ”

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