Rhetorical Analysis

Paula Jo Perez

Jennifer Bray

English 1302.481

February 11, 2011

“Beyond Vietnam-A Time to Break Silence” Rhetorical Analysis

      Over the years there have been many great speeches said by very good orators, but few of them had the effect that Martin Luther King, Jr. had on his audience, and none were as famous as his “I Have A Dream” speech. What made Dr. King’s speech so compelling was the fact that he was preacher and was very good at capturing the audience’s attention. The way he presented his arguments to captivate the audience and to get them to agree with whatever he was saying was a technique called the Aristoliean rhetoric, a device that helped him persuade his audience to accomplish his goals. But when he made the “Beyond Vietnam-A Time to Break Silence” speech on April 4, 1967, it was not recognized and given the full appreciation that it should have been given, because it was just as compelling as his “I Have A Dream” speech four years before. Perhaps it was the time that many people didn’t react very well to the speech, or the fact that Dr. King straight out opposed the government and the Vietnam War, whatever the reason, Dr. King did deliver an amazing speech, to which it used great rhetoric.

      The purpose of the “Beyond Vietnam” speech was to speak about what was going on in Vietnam, and how America's focus was then directed toward the war and how the government was drafting poor black and white men, (especially young black men). Martin Luther King, Jr. also “addressed racial inequalities during the “Beyond Vietnam” speech when America was “taking the Black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them 8, 000 miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in Southwest Georgia and East Harlem” (Allah).

      Dr. King also wanted to speak for those who had no voices (the Vietnamese). He spoke for them because he understood how they felt, despite what other people said about him...