Essay on The Speech Of Abraham Lincoln And Martin Luther King Jr.

1136 Words Jul 7th, 2015 5 Pages
"The value of a great speech is that they continue to speak to us." This is essentially arguing that the "greatest" speeches are those that have stood the test of time and remain relevant today. Although the “value” of any piece of media is entirely subjective, I do not find this true. The speeches of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr are both artistically great speeches that are still referenced and remembered today. The first occurred sometime in 1863, during the American Civil war, and the second a century later on the 28th of August 1963. A persuasive speech is created for a reason tied to its original context. It is also a one-time performance. As such, if it reaches this purpose when it is created, it has succeeded - how well it can be applied to other situations has nothing to do with this. There are many reasons a speech could fail when applied to the modern world. It could be outmoded by changing society, beliefs, and now-incomprehensible references. Regardless of whether it applies well to modern circumstances, it is important to consider its original context.
Both speeches possess an intended purpose - as such, they should be judged on whether or not they reach this purpose. In this case, they are expository: that is, they are intended to elicit a particular response in the audience. For example, although Abraham Lincoln 's speech took place at the dedication of a grave, his speech spun the situation to his advantage. In the third paragraph of Lincoln 's…

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