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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Rhetorical Structure: Figures of Speech

Rhetorical Structure: Figures of Speech

Certain rhetorical devices called figures of speech (similes, metaphors, allusions, alliteration, etc.) are used in both poetry and prose to make ideas more memorable and forceful. For centuries speakers and writers have known that such well said devices affect listeners and readers in powerful ways.

1. "Five score years ago," the opening phrase of King's speech, is an allusion to what or whom? Why was this an appropriate and strong way for King to begin his speech?

2. King's speech contains other allusions in addition to the one with which he opens his speech. Find an allusion to the Declaration of Independence and the Bible.

3. Find an example of alliteration in King's speech.
4. Find an example of a metaphor.
5. Find an example of a simile.
6. In the second paragraph, King says that "the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination."

o What type of figure of speech is this?
o These words bring up strong images of slavery. Why would this be an effective method of moving his audience?
o What inference was King making about the progress of African Americans to enter the mainstream of American life in the one hundred years which followed the end of slavery?

7. Another figure of speech is called an anaphora, or the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of a sentence, verse, or paragraph. Besides the famous "I have a dream" phrase, find two other examples of anaphoras.

8. List at least two possible effects upon King's audience of repeating the phrase, "I have a dream."

9. Nearly every line of King's speech is filled with powerful images, or "mental pictures," many created by using figures of speech. Images help audiences to feel what speakers/writers want them to feel, help them remember what they have read or heard, and help them understand difficult material. which of King's images you find most powerful and appealing and explain why this image had meaning for you.

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At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... you have the answers for all these questions??can you please email it to if you do please??
thank you very much

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah if u have the answers can u email them to me at Tks a lot and i wld rly appreciate it!

At 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

me too!


At 9:22 AM, Blogger David said...

please email me answers to
thanks so much

At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey...i need the answer for this too....can you mail me a.s.a.p...i got assignment to sent in on tuesday...pleeeeaseeee.... ;( mail add


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