Visual analysis of ‘I Have a Dream’ speech

Nancy Duarte of Duarte Design has a look at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” and why it was so good:

MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech is not only literarily brilliant, its structure follows the presentation form perfectly, by traversing back and forth between what is and what could be, and ending by describing what the new bliss of equality looks like. In addition, MLK carefully chooses phrases and metaphors that resonate deeply with his audience.

The transcript is placed on a timeline that follows the “presentation form” and color coded by use of metaphor, repetition, and political and scripture references.

[Video Link via Waxy]

1 Comment

  • On a vaguely related note, a British artist and filmmaker called Donald Harding exhibited an excellent video work last year where he took MLK’s speech and rendered it into an amazingly evocative score, translating the audio first into a series of MIDI bloops and bleeps before transcribing the sound into an amazing score for a string octet.

    I wrote about the exhibition here:


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