Intention

When analyzing Dr. Martin Luther King’s intention with his "I Have a Dream" speech, it is important to be aware of the historical circumstances. The speech was delivered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and King used the occasion to argue in favor of some of the core goals of the Civil Rights Movement. 

Promoting and supporting racial equality

Delivered in front of activists, but also broadcast on TV, the speech was aimed at promoting and supporting racial equality. This is the speaker’s overall intention.

To achieve this intention, the speaker pursues various related goals. Parts of the speech are intended to motivate and inspire activists to continue fighting for equal African-American rights in the US: “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” (ll. 109-112);

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. (ll. 104-108)

Encouraging peaceful protests and future unity 

The speaker als...

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