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A Comparison Of Dr. King's I Have A Dream Speech And Mandela's Glory And Hope Speech

1313 words - 5 pages

I Have a Dream and Glory and Hope were two speeches given, respectively, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela at times of great need; at times when ignorance and racially-based hubris intertwined themselves in the sparse gaps of human understanding. At first glance, the facets of humanity and blanket tranquillity seem to be in natural accord. Philosophers have struggled with the reason behind the absolute absence of peace as everybody, by definitions both classical and modern, longs for peace; conflict arrives from the disagreement on how to obtain it. The speeches I Have a Dream are similar both linguistically and structurally in that both speakers apply strong emotional appeal to support their propositions of freedom, justice, and social equality.
From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before more than 200,000 Americans on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. provoked the original notions of American ideals with his cardinal I Have a Dream speech. Though his prompting egalitarian reasoning, King pushed the definition and perception of human rights to then impractical limits in a most diplomatic and affable manner. Who would suppose that 1994, nearly thirty years later, the dispute of racial equivalence would be addressed by Nelson Mandela at his swearing-in ceremony in the face of the South African apartheid. The belief of both men, Mandela and King, can be summarised in a mantra proposed within both speeches: let freedom ring.
Each speech demonstrate a unique way of articulating what they want to express while maintaining separate and distinct choices of what literary techniques are effective and which are not. The most prevalent rhetorical device within I Have a Dream is anaphora, the repetition of a sequence of words for added emphasis. The titular phrase 'I Have a Dream' is repeated in eight successive sentences; emphasis on these phrases more impressive, and, by extension, makes the notion of King's vision more impressive. The use of repetition of phrases in order to give more meaning to what is being said is used throughout the inauguration speech of Nelson Mandela as well. By way of illustration, Nelson Mandela concludes his address with the phrases, ‘Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all…’ Not only does such a concise list of ultimatums show his efficiency as a leader, but it also exhibits his linguistic brilliance and ability to end a speech both effectually and eloquently.
Evoking arguments of literacy and historicity covertly is a powerful speechwriting technique. Within both speeches, numerous geographical and historical allusions are made to develop the credibility of the particular speaker. Personal appeal creates a strong introspective bond with the listener, appealing directly to his or her psyche and creating the illusion that their individual struggle is being addressed regardless of how general the analogy made was. One of the most...

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