In Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, King makes the bold claim that the day itself when he was giving the speech would “go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation”.
Whether King fully realized it or not that day, the speech, and the powerful way he delivered the speech, indeed has become one of the most important speeches ever given about racial equality.
Another similar example of King’s use of rhythm and anaphora is about half way through the speech when he urges the audience to not give up. King rhythmically repeats the phrase “Now is the time ….” King says “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
King goes to start the next two sentences with “Now is the time ….” Again, the audience responds with applause and emotionally responds back to King to reinforce what he is communicating.
He uses a similar rhetorical device of alliteration when he says “dark and desolate” in the sentence “Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.”
King uses this form of alliteration to describe segregation and reinforce the negative feeling for segregation.
Thinking about the concepts of logos, ethos and pathos, there are several examples of how King uses these concepts to appeal to the audience. One example of the use of logos is when King says “In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.”