Analyzing Language Use in Speeches

Topics: Abraham Lincoln, American Civil War, Gettysburg Address Pages: 3 (546 words) Published: February 21, 2013
Abraham Lincoln’s use of Language in his Speech

Abraham Lincoln uses many different language techniques in his speech ‘The Gettysburg Address’, these techniques help engage the audience into what is being asked from them. These language techniques are: Positive and Negative Connotation, Personal Pronouns and Repetition. These demonstrate the Rhetorical Triangle: Pathos, Ethos and Logos.

A variety of personal Pronouns are used in Abraham Lincoln’s speech, ‘The Gettysburg Address’. Lincoln often uses the words ‘we’ and ‘us’, this refers to the war period they are in together and the actions they should be making to accomplish a successful war. An example of this is when he said ‘we are met on a great battlefield of war.’ Another example is when he said ‘now we are engaged in a great civil war.’ This shows that both the soldiers and him are to honor their country, this makes the soldiers feel like part of the responsibility is lifted from their shoulders.

Both negative and positive connotation is used in Abraham Lincoln’s speech. Negative connotation is used to warn the soldiers about the importance of the task. An example of this is when he said ‘poor power’ or ‘unfinished work’. This makes the soldiers feel responsible. Positive connotation is used to inspire the soldiers and inform them that no matter how difficult the challenge of winning the war might be, the success would honor America. This helps keep the audience interacted about the plan of success in the war. An example of this is when Lincoln said ‘God shall have a new birth of freedom.’ Another example is when he said ‘ We are conceived in liberty’.

A lot of repetition is used in Lincoln’s speech. An example of this is when Lincoln said ‘we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.’ Another example is when he said ‘ of the people, by the people, for the people.’ Both of these examples show emphasizing. Lincoln used emphasizing to help create a better atmosphere of...
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