The Declaration of Independence is the fundamental document which gave birth to the development of the USA as an independent and democratic country. At the same time, the Declaration of Independence did not bring equal rights and opportunities to all citizens of the US and all people living in the country. In fact, to gain relatively equal rights some categories of American population had a long way to go. In such a context, the King’s speech proclaimed in the second half of the 20th century was a logical continuation of the Declaration of Independence and, in a way, this speech was the effect of the Declaration.
At first glance, the Declaration of Independence and the King’s speech are absolutely different because the Declaration uses quite a different language compared to the language used by King. King uses simple language comprehensible to all Americans, while the Declaration uses language which, being comprehensible, seems to be semantically elevated for an average, contemporary American because Americans do not use such language in their conversations and informal communication.
On the other hand, the use of simple language makes the King’s speech closer to Americans. They feel sympathetic to what King had said, while more formal language of the Declaration evokes the formal attitude of American to this document as a historically significant and fundamental document of the American nation. Therefore, it is possible to speak about more informal style of the speech and more formal style of the Declaration.
Stylistically, the Declaration and the speech are also different. King rather depicts his dream, his view of an ideal future of American society, while the Declaration rather postulates basic principles according to which Americans should live. Nevertheless, both the Declaration and the speech are very powerful and resonant since they affect the mind and soul of the audience.