Rhetorical Analysis

Topics: Abraham Lincoln, United States, American Civil War Pages: 4 (841 words) Published: October 20, 2014
Rhetorical Analysis
Abraham Lincoln’s “Second Inaugural Address” and Emily Dickinson’s “Success is Counted Sweet,” are two inspirational pieces of art that fall under two different types of discourses. The “Second Inaugural Address,” is a great example and definition of what Rhetoric is. It encompasses all four resources of languages- argument, appeal, arrangement, and artistic devices. “Success is Counted Sweet,” doesn’t cover the four resources of language that apply to rhetoric; therefore, it is categorized as a poem.

According to the chapter, “rhetoric addresses unresolved issues that do not dictate a particular outcome and in the process it engages our value commitments.” (15). We see how Lincoln’s inaugural speech tries to engage in the values of the people as he brings up the main issue that has effected the country, the Civil War. During the time of Lincoln’s “Second Inaugural Address,” he was facing a divided nation in the midst of a civil war. Lincoln built an argument within his speech with a goal set in mind: To establish a common ground or compromise between the North and the South.

Lincoln only hopes to change the outcome of the nation by stating, “with high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.” This shows that the unresolved issue has no dictated outcome, but he can only hope for a better future for the nation.

A great rhetoric calls people to action and Abraham Lincoln does so by stating, “ let us strive on to finish the work we are in… to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” Through this statement, Lincoln also creates a patriotic appeal to the nation as well as a sense of loyalty to the country as a whole. Lincoln creates an emotional appeal of unity and forgiveness by speaking about “peace”, “binding up the nations wounds,” and to “care” for the nation in which the Americans live in.

Abraham Lincoln’s artistic devices also make his inaugural...
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