“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King


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Martin Luther King Junior exhibited the American nightmare and the American dream focusing on a strong expertise in justice and faith of the American future.

Background information

Martin Luther king Junior made a speech on “I have a dream” in the year 1963. He continued to assert that “so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I will have a dream” (King). The time was associated with movements involving the American civil Rights. He was associated with abolishing the slavery which was thriving business by then. The speech by the Martin Luther King Junior was presented in the city of Washington DC and directed to all Americans (Walstrom). The speech was meant to be read and understood by all the American citizens.

Main body

The speech by martin Luther king was characterized by metaphors, allusions, emotion appeal and various phrases with anaphora. The motive of the Martin Luther king was established and effectively communicated to the Americans which consisted of a multicultural society. America boosts immigrants from all continents of the world and has diverse cultures in place. Martin Luther king Junior was a preacher with Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama. His career was in the civil rights as an advocate. Martin Luther king junior succeeded in the bus boycott which occurred in the city of Montgomery (Walstrom). He had an impact on the courts and made the ruling that buses were unconstitutional. The boycotts were peaceful and had carefully laid out strategies that were implemented effectively.

Martin Luther King continued with his planned boycotts. The march; in the Washington gave him the famous “I have a Dream” speech. The speech was directed to the presiding President John F, Kennedy in pressuring the congress in passing the comprehensive civil rights legislation. American people were considered as the audience. The speech was given at the time that America was experiencing numerous changes and reforms. The mood of the country was unpredictable; and this gave the speech a definition and relevance. The speech was given to the American people on August twenty eighth nineteen sixty three and commanded an assemblage of two hundred and fifty thousand (Ross 1).

The speech was phrased in a commanding tone and in a style of a sermon. As earlier indicated, martin Luther king was a preacher. He borrowed some of styles from his career. Martin Luther king speech sounded more like a nightmare and had a passionate conclusion as he continued illustrating his dream for the American nation. African America cultures were not left behind; the speech had numerous examples on the African American cultures. The mistreatment of the African American people was highlighted in the speech. The themes that came out clear in the speech included the theme of mistreatment, inequality, equality struggle, and the necessity of hope for the future. The common rhetorical devices that Martin Luther king Junior applied included metaphors, emotional appeals, allusions and the anaphora. The speech had other rhetorical devices put in place. 

The speech “I have a dream” by Martin Luther King was rich in metaphors. The speech has over thirty metaphors of different status. Martin Luther King said, “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the constitution and the declaration of independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir…” (Walstrom) This is a metaphor from the speech (Dlugan 1). The American government today has never abided itself perfectly to the promises it made to the American people. The citizens of color in the American society were segregated and given less responsibility and attention. The American government has given the Negro people a bogus check over the years. Negro people were discriminated against; this was evident bases on profane checks with insufficient funds. Martin Luther King Junior continued to assert that the banks of justice in America were bankrupt (Walstrom). He continued to announce that they had come to cash in the bad checks. The speech continued to assert that blacks were continuously in the fight of freedom and justice (King). This phrase in the speech had a metaphor in the metaphor.

Martin Luther King continued to assert that all men were created equal. He eluded the constitution and the declaration of the American constitution. He continued that all men include the whites and blacks. It did not count the color of your skin. This was the promissory note that was accorded to the American people. The black lacked the justice and freedom in the American land. This is easily shown in the phase where the black people received checks that bounced back with the messages of insufficient funds. The black people lacked the necessary liberty and justice. This is one of the issues that made Martin Luther king go to the streets and hold peaceful demonstrations. The bouncing checks have a petition to the emotion. The members of the audience felt attached to the statement of martin Luther king junior. The audience felt terrible for the injustice on the black people (Dlugan 2).

There is another metaphor that comes out clearly stated that “the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in amidst vast ocean of material prosperity” (King). This metaphor insisted that most of the black people were poor while the neighborhoods had plenty. The whites made sure that there was no prosperity for the blacks. The African American people were facing poverty and poor living conditions. The speech was given to the right audience who were keen on the message martin Luther king junior had for them. The emotional attachment to the message was excellent and live. Martin Luther king junior used metaphors that had connections to the right emotion. The speech was rich in inequalities which were tied to dream o the Martin Luther king junior.

The speech “I have a dream” was well thought of and researched piece of work. There were references which were made to Gettysburg in the speech. The speech stated that “five score years ago” (king); as a reference to the acknowledgement of Gettysburg. The speech had other people who were recognized. “It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity” (king); this was a clear indication that the speech recognized the emancipation Proclamation. The speech had an excellent match to the context.

The speech had numerous bible citations. It stated that every valley shall be exalted; and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooks shall be made straight; and the rough places explicit (Walstrom). And the glory of the lord shall be revealed, and although flesh shall see it together (King) this bible phrase came from the Isaiah chapter forty verses forty and five. This part of the speech had much influence of the current inequality and injustice that was being directed to the African American persons. The phrase also had an emotional touch with the audience. The African American people were experiencing inequality. The discrimination was directed toward the color of the skin. Negro people faced poverty in a rich country.

In the bible, Martin Luther King had other phrases he quoted, Amos chapter five verses twenty four states that “justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream” (King). This indicated that Martin Luther King recognized that God was just and righteous. He continued to mention that a day will come when all men will be equal (antiessays.com 1). Martin Luther King Junior also quoted the American constitution, Richard III and a play from the book of Shakespeare. The references in place made an appeal to the audiences as patriotic individuals. The speech was carefully crafted to make allusions and delivery of the goals.

The speech was characterized with anaphora which ids the repetition of a sequence of words. This is well known in adding emphasis. The common phrase that kept being repeated indicated that “Now is the time” (King). Martin Luther king insisted that the time for the changes had come. He insisted that the African American people had to be recognized by the white Americans. He continued to assert that all men are equal. The color of the skin was not a determinate in the administration of justice and equality. The other repeated words involved the “I have a dream” (king). This phrase featured on various occasions in the speech. Another phrase that was repeated involved the “let freedom ring” (King). The repetitions in the speech emphasizes crafted in a positive tone demonstrates faith and hope for a better future.


The speech had a remarkable conclusion insisting that democracy will come and continues to assert that black men and white men are equal. The Africans American will be free at last. Martin Luther king dreamt of a free, balanced and cohesive community. The speech came up in two ways, the American nightmare and the American dream. The speech had a strong expertise on discrimination and faith of a better tomorrow (antiessays.com 2). 

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