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A Comparison of Pericles' Speech and that of Martin Luther King Junior - Essay Example

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This research is the best example of comparison of Pericles' Speech and that of Martin Luther King Junior. Various individuals have always used speech in various occasions. When civilization started taking shape in the western world, the need to encourage soldiers during wars became necessary…
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A Comparison of Pericles Speech and that of Martin Luther King Junior
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"A Comparison of Pericles' Speech and that of Martin Luther King Junior"

Download file to see previous pages It is evident from the study that the speech made by Pericles at a funeral in 431 BC is one of the greatest speeches that have ever been made in human history. During this time, long speeches were specifically meant to encourage warriors who were going to the battlefield. The speeches could also be used to encourage families left behind when their sons, husbands or fathers went to war. Among the Greeks, there were burial ceremonies where speech would be made to appreciate the deceased for his or her contributions society. Pericles’s speech was one of them. The two speeches compare closely in terms of the level of emotion they raise. Pericles started his speech in a casual manner by informing the gathering about the importance of speech, as well as how it came into existence. However, he went ahead to explain that the ceremony was established by their ancestors. Like the speech made by Martin Luther King, Pericles acknowledged the role played by ancestors in deliberation of Greece. “I shall begin with our ancestors …they dwelt in the country without break…” . This section evoked the past deeds of the previous generations that Pericles believed should be emulated by the current generation. This is very similar to what Martin Luther used in his speech. He said, “When the architects of this country… they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir…”. This approach of delivering speech has proven to very effective as far as unity is concerned. Pericles was telling the gathering that their ancestors never gave up the fight to protect the country and therefore the current generation was to follow their footsteps. Similarly, Martin Luther reminded all Americans, both blacks and whites, of the fact that when ancestors were fighting for freedom, they did so as a single unit while perceiving each other as brothers. The same should apply in the current American society. Both speeches share a great deal in sentence structure. Pericles said: “And yet if with habits not of labor but of ease, and courage not of art but of nature, we are still willing to encounter danger… Yet, of course, the doer of the favor is the firmer friend of the two…” (Rusten 45) This sentence structure compares closely with that used in the speech “I Have a Dream.” Martin Luther said, “… knowing that somehow this situation can and will change…” (Echols 14). From the two speeches, it is evident that the current American society and other democracies across the world borrowed much from the Athenian ideals. They realized the importance of using the power of speech to make people take ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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