Инфоурок Английский язык Другие методич. материалыАнализ речи Мартина Лютера на английском языке "I have a dream"

Анализ речи Мартина Лютера на английском языке "I have a dream"

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I have a dream is a public speech proclaimed by American activist Martin Luther King Jr. he delivered his speech on the afternoon of Wednesday, August 28 in 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States. The speech, delivered to 200000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March of Washington, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Beginning to the reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in 1863, King declared that “one hundred years later, the Negro is still not free”.

King had been preaching about dreams since 1960, when he gave a speech to the National Association for the advancement of colored people called “The Negro and the American dream”. This speech discusses the gap between the American life and the American dream, saying that white people have violated the dream.

Widely considered as a masterpiece of rhetoric, King’s speech invokes the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Early in his speech, King alludes to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by saying “Five score years ago…” king says in reference to the abolition of slavery articulated in the Emancipation Proclamation “It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity”.

Moreover King’s speech uses words and ideas from his own speeches and other texts. He had spoken about dreams, quoted from “My country ‘Tis of Thee”, and of course, referred extensively to the Bible. He quotes from Isaiah – “I have a dream that every valley shall be exalted…”, from Amos – “No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream”.

Additionally, King alludes to the opening lines of Shakespeare’s “Richard III” when he remarks “this sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn…”

The closing passage from King’s speech partially resembles Archibald Carey’s address to the 1952 Republican National Convention: both speeches end with a recitation of the first verse of Samuel Francis Smith’s popular patriotic Hymn “America”, and the speeches share the name of one of several mountains from which both exhort “let freedom ring”.

The speech “I have a dream” is full of different stylistic devises. To be more persuasive and realistic King uses anaphors and metaphors. This devises makes his speech poetic, true to life, understandable and beautiful. An example of anaphora is found early as King urges his audience to seize the moment: “Now is the time…” is repeated four times in the sixth paragraph. The most widely cited example of anaphora is found in the often quoted phrase “ I have a dream” which is repeated 8 times as King paints a picture of an integrated and unified America for his audience. Other occasions when King uses anaphora include “One hundred years later”, “We can never be satisfied”, “With this faith”, “Let freedom ring”.

One more peculiar feature of his speech is a great amount of metaphors, which help him to make his message clear and comprehensible for the audience. These are some examples of metaphors: “a great beacon of light”, “a lonely island of poverty”, “a cup of bitterness and hatred”, “desolate valley of segregation” and others.

He touches upon the idea of Negro’s sufferings in so-called civilized and tolerant American society opened to everyone. This proves the following quotations: “one hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in a vast ocean of material prosperity” and “the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society”. Saying this hi points out that in spite of the fact that the slavery had been abolished 100 years ago, the Negro is still “crippled by manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination”.

Besides, many concepts he embodies through the nature to make his speech more colorful and persuasive. We can see it through these examples: “a joyous daybreak”, “the long night of captivity”, “the sunlit path and the quicksands of racial justice”, “solid rock of brotherhood”, “sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent and equality”.

We can see that the whole speech is built in almost poetic structure to pay attention of the audience and to convince all the people that they have rights for freedom and equality.

In the end of his speech King names different states of America to show people that the equilibrium can be reached only if the South states will become more tolerant and sympathetic to the black people. He puts the North and the South states in opposition to show their separation: “the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire”, “the mighty mountains of New York”, “the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado”, “the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania” and “the red hills of Georgia”, “a desert state of Mississippi”.

He also proclaims hoping for the best future: “I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers”.

This speech undoubtedly is the greatest speech calling for the freedom, equality and brotherhood. And its legacy can’t be evaluated because the March on Washington put pressure on the Kennedy administration to advance civil rights legislation in Congress. The diaries of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., published posthumously in 2007, suggest that President Kennedy was concerned that if the march failed to attract large numbers of demonstrators, it might undermine his civil rights efforts.

In the wake of the speech and march, King was named Man of the Year by Time magazine for 1963, and in 1964, he was the youngest person ever awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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