I Have a Dream
This study guide will help you analyze the speech “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on summary, analysis, topic, speaker, audience, language, modes of persuasion, circumstances, and intention.
Presentation of the speech
"I Have a Dream" is one of the most famous speeches in American history, delivered by civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. The speech is a powerful call for racial equality and an end to discrimination against African Americans.
The speech begins with King's famous words, "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.'" He goes on to describe his vision of a world in which racial injustice is no longer tolerated and people of all races can come together in peace and harmony.
King's use of vivid language and repetition throughout the speech, particularly in the refrain "I have a dream," has made it a memorable and inspiring piece of oratory. The speech played a crucial role in energizing the civil rights movement and contributed to the enactment of significant laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.