Analysis

Here, you can read a short presentation of our analysis of “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” by Martin Luther King. 

In what follows, we will examine the topic of the speech – the Memphis sanitation strike and the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement—and look at the way the speaker discusses these topics by linking them to themes like violence, religion, and unity.

We will present the speaker, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, looking at his background as a Civil Rights activist and at the way he talks about himself in the speech to appear trustworthy and experienced.

We will look at the audience of the speech—formed by those gathered at Mason Temple in Memphis—and their reactions to the speaker’s message. We will also consider the general national and international audience the speech is also aimed at.

We will discuss the language used by Martin Luther King, looking at choice of words, tone, and rhetorical devices like allusion, antithesis and repetition. We will also present the modes of persuasion the speaker uses to make his arguments more convincing. 

We will explore the circumstances of the speech, looking at the context of the Civil Rights Movement and of the Memphis sanitation strike.

Finally, we will focus on the speaker’s intention of motivating the audience to join the worker’s protests and at what language tools he uses to achieve this.

Read the full analysis in what follows!