MLK's Letter from Birmingham Jail focuses on his audience, the clergy of that city. How do his allusions to the Bible reinforce his moral points?

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Dr. King's letter is often anthologized because of his masterful use of argument appeals.  Specifically, in the letter, King relies heavily on ethos or ethical appeals because of his audience.  As your question mentions, King includes many Biblical allusions, and he also employs basic appeals to the ministers' morals because...

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Dr. King's letter is often anthologized because of his masterful use of argument appeals.  Specifically, in the letter, King relies heavily on ethos or ethical appeals because of his audience.  As your question mentions, King includes many Biblical allusions, and he also employs basic appeals to the ministers' morals because he knows that that strategy should create in them a fervid sense of obligation to help him further his cause. Ethos is the most effective appeal for King's purpose because it is an appeal to someone's morals or sense of duty.  Moreover, it is also a method to establish the writer's credibility.  As a pastor writing to a group of pastors, Dr. King knows that he needs to establish a commonality with his audience and appeal to them as he would want others to appeal to him.

An adept speaker or writer will always consider his audience and balance or choose his form of appeal appropriately.

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