Essay in speech format on Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" and Abraham lincoln's "Gettysburg Address".

Essay by petes_neverHigh School, 12th gradeB-, August 2008

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Of the great oral presentations this world has seen, many of them serve as an outlet for individuals to articulate their ideals and beliefs to a greater audience. The way in which great speakers such as Martin Luther King Jr and Abraham Lincoln do this is through speech elements such as rhetoric, language techniques, successful structure and also establishing a relationship with their audience. The speeches “I have a Dream”, and The Gettysburg Address, although performed to entirely different audiences in different contexts, share similar values and qualities.

In order to gain a complete understanding of the distinctive qualities of the speeches we must first look at the context in which they were written.

On August the 28th 1963, Martin Luther King Jr stood before a congregation of over 200,000 people in front of the Lincoln Memorial. It was on this day that King delivered his testimony to mankind in an effort to end black segregation within America.

Despite strong opposition from the Kennedy Administration, King and his contemporaries continued with the civil rights march.

Standing on the same spot as Lincoln did “five score years ago”, King preached similar themes of justice, equality and freedom for man. Lincoln’s speech came as a eulogy to those lost at the battle of Gettysburg. At the time America was at civil war and the restless crowd was desperate for inspiration from their President. He was speaking last to a crowd of 15-20,000 Northerners to honour the dead and encourage them to keep fighting the war.

The context of each address has a profound impact upon their purpose and qualities. One distinct quality of Lincoln’s speech is that it was structured chronologically with each of the three separate paragraphs entailing the past, present and future. The lengths of the paragraph’s can also...