DOI: 10.5176/2251-3566_L317.102

Authors: Wang Peipei and Tian Jianguo

Abstract: I Have a Dream, a speech written by Martin Luther King, Jr., sounds the clarion call to march towards the struggle for freedom, for human rights and against discrimination in the interest of the Negro all over the world. It has great influence on America and worldwide. And this speech which has its historical meaning only considering its language art is worth further analysis. This paper begins with a discussion of phonetics, using examples in the speech to create the beauty by choosing and arranging the combination of pronunciation. Next, the paper considers and, illustrates the lexicology in the speech, considering several characteristics, including the first person used, the word “Negro” used as well as the link-up of lexicon. Third, the syntax is examined, with special emphasis on parallelisms King employed including the parallel nouns and parallel noun phrases, infinitive phrases, prepositional phrases, etc…. The parallelism in syntax not only expresses the thoughts but also the feelings. And finally, examples of his genius for rhetorical devices are discussed possessing the essence of the beauty. It is an excellent example anyway and it is worthwhile for the English learners to learn from it. A successful speech should be rich in power and pay more attention to the artistic language. Only in this way the speech will be the excellent one.

Keywords: I Have a Dream; phonetic; lexicon; syntax and rhetorical devices


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