Gettysburg Address Rhetorical Analysis

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln, United States Pages: 1 (354 words) Published: May 4, 2013
Gettysburg Address Rhetorical Analysis
The 16th President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, in his speech, The Gettysburg Address, recounts the tragedy of the Civil War and the fight for the removal of slavery. Lincoln’s purpose is to state the importance of winning the war along with the importance of liberty, freedom, and equality. He creates a somber commemorative tone throughout the speech in order to show how serious he is about equality and freedom for everyone.

Lincoln opens his speech by constructing an illusion to the Declaration of Independence to remind us of the Founding Fathers’ vision, which established a nation that was “dedicated to the proposition that all men were created equal.” He made the reference to the Declaration of Independence to remind the American people what they were fighting for. Referring to the Declaration of Independence, which was written in 1776, sets a formal, reverential tone suitable to the occasion. Lincoln states that “our fathers” didn’t establish or found, but “brought forth” this new nation as if it were a baby coming into the new world. When Lincoln adds in a quote from the Declaration of Independence to the end of the alluding sentence, he reminded the audience at Gettysburg that their fathers on both sides of the conflict were equal.

Abraham Lincoln also uses parallel structure like, “we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow this ground”, in order to express ideas of equal importance. Lincoln arranged these concepts in order of increasing significance in that "dedicate" implies a secular formality whereas "hallow" denotes godly authority. By building up the level of intrigue, Lincoln made this sentence climactic, convincing, and memorable. This simple yet profound sentence touches the audience and reminds them that they need to keep fighting for equality. When Lincoln used parallel structure, he not only organized his ideas, but also kept his audience intrigued. This...
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