Comparison of the Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" and Pericles "Funeral Oration"

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Sabrina Simer
9/27/06

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After reading both speeches I found that the purpose of Pericles's speech was to honor the ancestors, the survivors, the ones who died for the country, and their families. It was also to speak of the goodness of Athens and reiterate how rewarding having a democracy is. The purpose of Lincoln's speech was very similar. It was to dedicate a monument as the final resting place for those who have died in the civil war; it was also to reinforce the fact that there is unfinished work. "It is for us the living rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who have fought here have thus far so nobly advanced." (Lincoln "Gettysburg Address") In my opinion the Gettysburg Address is a brief summary of Pericles speech. They both talk about the people who have died and how honorable it was to have done so. The also both start off speaking of those who came before them, and how they have inspired present day situations. "I shall begin with our ancestors: it is both just and proper that they should have the honor of the first mention on an occasion like the present." (Pericles "Funeral Oration") "Our fore fathers brought on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.(Lincoln " Gettysburg Address") Another thing recognized in both speeches is the fact that there is a democracy and it is not going anywhere. "—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." (Lincoln "Gettysburg Address") "Our constitution does not copy the laws of neighboring states; we are rather a pattern to others than imitators ourselves. Its administration favours the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy. If we look to the law, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences." (Pericles "Funeral Oration") Although these speeches have many things in common we must not forget the

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