Understanding King’s Rhetoric: An Analysis of “I Have a Dream”


  • Braj Mohan Assistant Professor The English and Foreign Languages University, Regional Campus Lucknow, India


Discourse Dissection Model, Discourse Analysis, Public Speaking, Martin Luther King Junior, I Have a Dream


This article studies various linguistic and paralinguistic strategies in the opening part of Martin Luther King Junior’s famous speech “I Have a Dream.” It explores how King Junior started his speech, prepared the context, and introduced and amplified the central issue. The analysis has been done using Mohan’s (2016) Discourse Dissection Model, inspired by Aristotle’s rhetoric and Austin’s Speech Act Theory. In the opening part, the ad-hoc goals of the orator are to connect with the audience, establish trustworthiness, and introduce and amplify the central issue. This article demonstrates how various rhetorical strategies, such as contrast, repetition, and metaphor, have been used in the first eight sentences. It also makes some meaningful observations on the speech delivery style.




How to Cite

Braj Mohan. (2022). Understanding King’s Rhetoric: An Analysis of “I Have a Dream”. Creative Saplings (An International Peer Reviewed and Refereed Open Access Monthly Journal of English Language and Literature), 1(06), 58–70. Retrieved from https://creativesaplings.in/index.php/1/article/view/154