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The Gettysburg Address Essay

955 words - 4 pages

In a very humble and quick speech Abraham Lincoln not only honorably confers a departure to the soldiers who gave their lives for their country, but also unites a nation under a common goal. Through his rhetorical usage of repetition and parallelism Lincoln delivers his chief message of unity as a nation. In Abraham Lincoln’s revolutionary and celebrated speech “The Gettysburg Address,” Lincoln’s use of superior rhetoric and leadership reignites the American people’s passion and desire to come together for a common goal.
Lincoln immediately grabs the audience's attention with a reference to the past and to future: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” ("Gettysburg ”). In this brief oration, he spoke of how democracy itself rested upon the proposition that all men are created equal. This statement during this time period was profound and politically risky statement for the time. Slavery and the doctrine of states' rights would not hold in the "more perfect union" of Lincoln's vision Four score and seven is much sophisticated than simply saying eighty-seven. This is appropriate because 87 years prior the United States won its freedom from Great Britain ("Gettysburg Address”). Lincoln gives the audience a recap of the foundation of which the country was founded on liberty and equality. This is a perfect footing for the next sentence of the speech: “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure” ("The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln”). Lincoln indicates that a challenge must be faced head on and that the philosophies of which the country was established are besieged. It is not a question of whether America could survive, but rather any nation founded on the same principles could survive (Peters). Thus, the war and the importance of winning create greater significance: “We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this” ("Gettysburg”). Lincoln then turns to commiserate those who have fallen for their country. He uses this contrast effectively by stating: “those who here gave their lives that this nation might live” ("Gettysburg”). Lincoln makes what is perhaps the ultimate contrast of life vs. death.
Lincoln then calls for a plan of action. Lincoln rallies the crowd and gains their support through his convincing language (Six Minutes RSS). Lincoln employs simple techniques which transform his words from bland to poetic: But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this...

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