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Speech Analysis

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The essay will indentify a given speech, analyze it into details and draw the response derived from the speech by the audience. It will also conclude on its relevance, timing and the events surrounding /preceding /following the speech. The essay will similarly analyze the speaker, his main ideas, purpose of the speech and the mode of delivering the speech.The speech to be discussed in this paper is retrieved from American Rhetoric.com and is entitled; “I have a dream” delivered on 28 August 1963.

Question 1- Context of the speech

This speech is delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.  on 28 August, 1963. It came at a time when the Negros were fighting for freedom and justice in USA. Before the delivery of this speech, many Negros had been brutally harassed, killed or jailed by the police as they fought for their freedom. Equally, the Negros had been discriminated in accessing accommodation, restricted to visit some areas as well as being denied the right to vote in given states like Mississippi.

After the speech, the struggle for freedom continued with greater intensity which even included some whites. In addition, other speeches were delivered to emphasize on the need for the sought freedom.

Question 2- Purpose of the speech

The speech was to demonstrate togetherness in the fight for freedom, confirm the need for the fight, appreciate the efforts and sacrifices made so far in search of the freedom, encourage the fight to continue in unity and at peace, and to give the Negros hope of a coming freedom.

Question 3- Speaker’s voice quality

The speaker’s voice had utmost clarity and in pace with the audience reception. He paused in between his sentences to allow the audience listen, applaud and digest his words for emphasis and understanding. Consequently, he repeated some words like, “I have a dream today!” for emphasis and continuity. The overall quality of the speaker’s voice is effective. This is because he indentifies with the emotions, pace and mood of the audience. This is evident from the way the audience applauds him.

Question 4- How the speaker begins

The speaker starts by registering his happiness in joining them that particular day in search of freedom. He derives the attention of the audience by indentifying himself as one of them.

Question 5- Main ideas of the speaker

The speaker recognizes the continued oppression despite earlier promises of justice on the Negros. He also dictates the need for a continued peaceful struggle to freedom. He had the idea of encouraging the Negros to continue fighting as well as appreciating those who have already suffered and sacrificed for the sake of the struggle. He also built on faith and hope that freedom is coming soon.

Question 6- Speaker’s conclusion

The speaker concludes by recognizing the unity and joy that will result from the attainment of the freedom ring. He uses the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” to mark a memorable ending.

Question 7- Effectiveness of the speech

The speech was effective at the time of delivery in that the struggle had started and many people had already suffered out of it. Hence, the Negros needed motivation to continue and an assurance that what they are fighting for is worth and attainable. The response from the audience was captivating and demonstrated conviction to move ahead.

Question 8- What makes the speech great

The speaker and the quality of his words are often referred to, making the speech great. It has maintained its relevance to this day.

Question 9- Lessons from the speaker

That even when the struggle seems too difficult, I should never give up but should soldier on hoping for a sweet victory.

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