9En1 – Mr Dettman – Rhetorical Devices in Speeches

Click on, download and read the ‘I Have a Dream’ extract: I have a dream extract HL

C/D Grade:  Identify 3-4 different examples of Rhetorical devices used by Martin Luther King in his speech.  These must be from the C/D grade section.  Include the supporting quote for each.

Extension: Explain why MLK has used each technique, and, for further extension, choose from the A/B Grade section (this will get you a HL positive toward your effort grade).

A/B Grade: You should select 5 different Rhetorical devices, explaining why MLK has selected each one (their effect). Supporting quotes need to be added.  These must come from both the C/D-A/B Grade sections below.

Extension: You should explain the use of at least one Rhetorical device, within the context of his speak (i.e. the socio-historical background – socio= anything to do with society / people)  A positive will be issued, as per the C/D grade challenge!

Common Rhetorical Devices used in Speeches:

C/D Grade:

Alliteration
The repetition of consonants* within a sentence or phrase that makes the speech more catchy and memorable. (*Anything that is not a vowel)

Anecdote 
Telling a (personal) story, to engage and win-over an audience.  Sometimes, almost to tell a ‘parable’.

Hyperbole
This is extreme exaggeration, often for emotive purposes.

Simile
Making a comparison, typically using ‘like’ or ‘as’ to make this comparison.

Undermine the opposition
Making the opposition (and their ideas) seem bad, to make yours seem better in comparison.

A/B Grade: (+ Above)

Allusion

The comparison to another famous case in history or famous person that shared a similar situation/qualities with that being described.

Anaphora 
This term describes the most famous part of a speech. E.g. The repetition of a (now famous) slogan or phrase.

Assonance
Like alliteration, assonance adds an element of musical poetry to the speech.  This is the repetition of vowels – a,e,i,o,u

Extended Metaphor
A comparison that is made throughout the course of a text in various ways.

Parallelism
This is the repetition of a short phrase within a sentence, almost to make the sentence a little more ‘sing song’.

Personification
Giving a non-living thing human attributes.

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9 thoughts on “9En1 – Mr Dettman – Rhetorical Devices in Speeches

  1. Urchy

    B-A grade:
    Anaphora: “I have a dream” Everyone knows those famous 3 words!
    Allusion: “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and former slave owners” Referring to the slave trade and racist views on black people.
    Parallelism: “Let freedom ring — from the mighty mountains of New York.
    Let freedom ring — from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.” Let freedom ring.
    Personification: “I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice” Only living things tend to be sweltering.
    Extended metaphor: “little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers” Comparing black boys and girls and white boys and girls as being the same. And they are!

    😀

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  2. martha

    In the speech I have a dream he contently goes back to the word I have a dream to keep reminding the people. He also says let freedom ring a lot to get people to remember it this is called alliteration. I really like the way he says ”I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers” He is trying to get across that we are the same no differences but colour.

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  3. julie

    You should select 5 different Rhetorical devices A /B

    One of the devices used in the martin Luther king speech is allusion. One quote that shows that is “the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood”. This makes the listener think that they can relate to shared a similar situation/qualities with that being described.

    Another device used is Anaphora you probably already know this it is…”I have a dream” This repetition made it a famous phrase, the repetition makes the reader remember it.

    Another device used is alliteration for example- ” content of their character” the repetition of the sound c makes the poem flow and makes the speech more catchy and memorable. This is used a number of times in the speech this makes it more interesting and by using “c” it makes his point stand out about it’s not about the color of their skin it is about their character.

    Another technique used in this speech is Anecdote Telling a (personal) story, to engage and win-over an audience. An example of this is “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation”. This makes the listener think more about it and if it is a personal story then it makes the listener more likely to believe that he believes in what he is saying.

    In this speech Hyperbole used for extreme exaggeration, often for emotive purposes .”from every hill and molehill of Mississippi, from every mountainside, let freedom ring” by exaggerating this makes his point stand out so he can finish his speech on an amazing finish.

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  4. Frieder

    C/D Grade
    Martin Luther King uses
    -Anectodote
    He tells a lot about himself and his personal life. This makes the people feel empathy whith him and maybe they feel the same so he definitely catches their attention.
    -Alliteration
    He sets the emphasis on consonants always in the same stanza. As example he sets the emphasis on I, one, nation, rise, live, creed. So he gets you into something like a rhythm.
    -Hyperbole
    Sometimes he says things that will never happen and gives the whole speech a lot of emotion. As example you could take the part where he says that the Slaves will be sitiing on the table of brotherhood with the Slave owners which wont even happen when they are being liberated.

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  5. Jenna

    MLK uses anaphora for the phrase “I have a dream”. He repeated this in his speech several times and has inspired so many people that it can now be considered a very famous line and quite a lot of people remember MLK for his use of the phrase ‘I have a dream’. I think he used this to make people remember it; it’s short, yet sweet. It can be used in almost any situation – that’s what makes it so flexible and useful.

    He also undermimes the opposition. He uses certain phrases that make our previous society seem terrible; ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ This makes people feel bad, and want to root for him. I believe he uses this to make people believe in him; that he can make a change. This phrase, that I have used as an example, could also be interpreted as an anecdote; he’s using his real life situatuion to win over the audience.

    He uses allusion – ‘on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners’ he uses the case of the slave trade in his speech. I think he did this because of equality – back in those days, people still oppressed people who were a different race. So if he used allusion, people might be able to relate.

    Finally, MLK uses metaphors. ‘With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood’ obviously, you can’t actually get a mountain of despair – it’s a metaphor for the society they live in. In a way, this could also be hyperbole because he overexaggerates with the ‘jangling discords’ part of the speech. Using these techniques, it adds more emphasism to his speech and makes it sound more professional and serious.

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  6. solly

    Anaphoa is used as I have a dream its a very powerfull partbin henstanzas and very efgetive innpublic speaking haveing you own slogon is very important im politics
    An ancdotenis thatni had a dreammof liveingmin his nation his is another technique and very effextive byw telling a personal story.
    He alsonused illusion witch is very effective and efficient in politics

    Reply
  7. Saul :P

    Anaphora – “I have a dream”, this is repeated this in his speech several times and his speech is based on this. It’s easy to remember and everybody has heard it.
    Allusion. “The red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood”. This is referring to the slave trade, He put this in his speech as he wanted equality.
    Undermine the opposition “One day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.” As Mississippi was very racially diverse and was many riots happened about racism. He is in this sentence saying even though they were bad they will become good.
    Simile – “little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” As brothers and sisters are usually close and kind to each other he is implying that in the future skin colour will not determine friendship.
    Reputation “we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together,” This keeps reminding the reader what Martin wants, this also get his views across and is very powerful. It makes you realise that people with different colour skin didn’t even share the same jails.

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  8. Julius

    1. Parallelism: MLK uses parallelisms through his whole speech like “I have a dream “, to make himself recognizable and to strengthen his speech. It also gives a good structure, as it clearly shows where a new paragraph or thought starts without breaking the rhythm of his speech.
    2. Undermining the opposition: In his speech, he undermines his opposition, the racist government of the USA in the 60´s .In Mississippi marries between white and Afro-Americans were not allowed and many black people were lynched in the southern states between 1900 and 1967. Especially in the third paragraph when he says “sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression”, this is also a way of pathetic fallacy, connecting the natural and political attributes of a place to create a bigger sense of completeness, and creating an
    3. Extended Metaphor: Throughout his whole speech, MLK connects the nature and traits of humans or policies and using them as metaphor e.g. “a stone of hope”. In connection with his references to god, this shows his deep spirituality.
    4. Emotive language: He uses emotive language and anecdotes to make himself more authentic. When he starts to talk about his little children, you instantly feel with him, and opens your mind for his ideas
    5. Alliteration: He uses alliteration for example in “little black boys”. This is really nice to listen to, and people just feel more related to combination of words, because they just feel more related to it.

    Reply
  9. Katie L

    ‘I Have a Dream’ is a compelling speech by Martin Luther King Jr. It explains the needed equality across various races and ethnicities.

    One of the techniques he uses is personification. An example of where he uses this is “This is the faith that I will go back to the South with.” I believe he uses this because it makes it seem real, like you need to take it with you wherever you go.

    Another technique is that Martin Luther King uses is repetition. He repeats “I have a dream.” A lot. This is effective because it sticks in your mind as something significant that you need to remember.

    He also undermines the opposition, he talks about his hate towards the racist police. He also goes back to the fact that, at that time, there was a lot of police brutality.

    Martin Luther King uses extended metaphors in his speech a lot too, for instance he said this dream is a “stone of hope” and this is effective for basically the same reasons as the personification.

    Anaphoras are used, “I have a dream” is repeated a lot so it is significant towards the listener.

    Reply

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