Martin Luther King and Patrick Henry: Cry for Freedom
Although Patrick Henry and Martin Luther King, Jr. are both skilled
orators and use similar rhetorical devices to appeal to their audiences, they
call for freedom for two totally different kinds of people. Both Patrick Henry
and Martin Luther King, Jr. show their strengths as speakers through their use
of these rhetorical devices. Among these are parallelism, allusions, metaphors,
and rhetorical questions. Both speakers use these devices well. Martin Luther
King, Jr. is infamous for using parallelism when he states, "Free at last, free
at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" Martin Luther King, Jr. also
alludes to the Declaration of independence many times in his speech. "I have a
dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its
creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal." These rhetorical devices help Martin Luther King, Jr. keep his audience
attentive and highly interested.
Patrick Henry uses biblical allusion when he states, "It is only in this
way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility
which we hold to God and our Country." Another rhetorical device that Henry
uses well is imagery. A good example of Henry's imagery is, "The next gale that
sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms!"
Henry uses these and many more devices to keep the attention and the open mind
of his audience who was mostly opposed to his viewpoint.
These two speeches...