Logos, ethos, and pathos

“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr.is mostly constructed using ethos and pathos, but a few instances of logos are also included. The speaker uses these modes of persuasion to encourage the audience to support the Civil Rights Movement by illustrating why this movement is necessary and what it will achi…

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Logos

King appeals to reason in the speech by mentioning facts and using logical arguments which support his views on racial discrimination. All of this serves as proof for King in his argumentation.

For example, he lists several real situations in which African Americans are discriminated against:  

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Ethos

A speaker is using ethos when he appeals to his reliability as speaker and to his audience's trust in his reliability. The more likeable and reliable you come off, the more likely your audience will be to trust you and be persuaded by your arguments. 

As a church minister, King appeals extensively to the authority of Christian religious teaching, according to which all men are equal and should be treated as such: “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.”; “And this will be the day – this will be the day when …

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Pathos

King also makes great use of pathos, the appeal to people's emotions. Sometimes he addresses people's positive emotions, other times their negative ones. Both are typically highly efficient.

He mostly appeals to emotions of a religious nature, through the many biblical associations he makes: “…hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”. The speaker’s purpose is to stir religious sentiments that promote unity and help the audience overcome feelings of de…

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