Critical Essay on Dr Martin Luther King's Speeches and Letters

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  867 Words
Date:  2022-09-20


Martin Luther King electrified the American politics tremendously through his speeches. His sermons and speeches are made up of an extensive catalogue of American oratory and writing. Most of his speeches are internationally known whereas others await rediscovery and others remain unheralded. In August 1963 Kin electrified the world through his speech "I have a dream" which he presented at Lincoln Memorial. He focused on achieving justice for all races as well as the creation of an integrated society. His words acted as a touchstone for bringing understanding to the society on the political and social upheaval, giving the nation and chance and vocabulary to air their views on current issues within the nation.

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His speeches were able to connect with his listeners enabling him to move huge masses of people to achieve his goals politically and religiously. He also utilized religion as a pillar to justify his claims politically which in this case allowed him to solidify his argument by re-enforcing his arguments with biblical references. Dr King had received high quality education and his communication skills were fabulous both in writing and in speech. Using his speech and writing skills he was able to create fabulous speeches which touched people hearts to fight for what was just and right.

Similarly, the Letter is termed as a masterpiece of legalistic, moral and didactic argument with thrilling language and content. The letters meticulous structure enable readers to have a clue of the mindset of Dr King and reflects his high-quality education. The paper aims at comparing how Martin Luther king presents his speech in comparison with his letter and identifying the major differences that exist between the two.

The Letter From Birmingham

The letter was written in the format of an essay and at the same time appeared to be a manifesto and pamphlet combined into one document. The letter has a rhetorical goal and depicts a clear message to its audience for political support and action (King 1992). The letter's tone is generally measured and righteous in that every word he uses is backed by a moral and religious understanding of the fact being presented. The letters are also incisive to the extent that they exhibit clear thinking that is accurate hitting at the core of the issue. With poetic language, he also applied a strong rhyme in the letter providing a rhythm that makes reading the letter largely satisfying.

I Have a Dream

In August 1913 Dr king electrified America through his rhetoric speech demanding the formation of an integrated society with racial justice as its guiding pillar. His speech enabled the society to apprehend what was taking place within the society politically and socially (King 2015). The speech was professionally formulated and researched using the bible and other political sources. Stylistically it's a work of art harnessing the power of poetry, imagery, rhythm, frequent repetition and alliteration to ensure that the key points are delivered to the people successfully. The speech is presented masterfully improvised sermon calling for action and support from the people (King 1992). Dr King was able to gracefully incorporate his emotions during his delivery through his body and voice allowing him to ensure that the audience was able to build the picture that he was trying to formulate within their minds.

Similarities and Differences Between the Speech and the Letter

Dr King was a professional speaker. Through the utilization of his body and sound as well as high-quality education, he was able to formulate speeches and letters which remain as masterpieces till date. The speeches and letters had a lot in common despite the fact that they all played different roles within society. Some of the major stylistic techniques he applied within his speeches include:

  • The utilization of emphasis on phrases by repeating them within his sentences during his speeches and letters. Using Anaphora he was able to set the pattern and increase the rhetorical effect within his statements.
  • He utilized repetition to repeat key theme words during his speeches and within his letters.
  • He makes use of appropriate allusions and quotations by evoking literary and historical references. They allowed his to improve the credibility of his arguments and clarify his statements to his audience.
  • He utilized familiar examples which the people could relate to ground his arguments and improve his mode of presentation allowing him to explain and illustrate his logical facts and evoke strong emotion and imagery within the minds of his audience (King 2015).
  • He also utilizes metaphors to associate his speech concepts with well-established emotions and images within his audience.

Few differences existed between the way Dr King presented both his speeches and letters. His mode of speech was constant of high quality and clear.


In conclusion, through his speeches and letters, he was able to harness the emotions of people and promote feelings of freedom and equity among people allowing his to reach out to all people within the states. The utilization of the techniques developed him and allowed his to revolutionize the people of America and lead them in realizing a free and fair society.

Work Cited

King Jr, Martin Luther. "Letter from Birmingham jail." UC Davis L. Rev. 26 (1992): 835.

King, Martin Luther. I have a dream. Edizioni Mondadori, 2015.

Cite this page

Critical Essay on Dr Martin Luther King's Speeches and Letters. (2022, Sep 20). Retrieved from

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