Intention

“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King in the context of the Memphis sanitation strike, which is also the main topic of the speech. The themes the speaker relates to the contextual topic are unity, economic boycotts, and nonviolent protests, but also progres…

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Building trust and authority

The first part of the speech is designed to help the speaker build his authority and convince the audience that they are living during an important historical moment. The speaker gains authority by using ethos created with the help of historical references that help him come across as knowledg…

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Promoting unity and nonviolence

Martin Luther King’s intention is also to convince African Americans to stay united and protest through non-violent means. To achieve this intention, the speaker combines appeals to trust (ethos) with appeals to reason (logos): “Now, what does all of this mean in this great period of hi…

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Making the audience empathize with the protesters

As King’s general intention is to convince more people to support the Memphis sanitation strike, he frequently uses pathos (appeal to emotions) to make the audience relate to and empathize with the situation the workers are in and the injustice they are subjected to: “…and force everybody to see that t…

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Convincing more ministers to promote the cause of the Civil Rights

Another aim is to convince other preachers to become more involved in the Civil Rights Movement and become local leaders. This is why, he gives the role-model examples of minist…

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