Essay on Abraham Lincoln 's Second Inaugural Address

Essay on Abraham Lincoln 's Second Inaugural Address

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From 1861 to 1865 the United States faced a time of great turmoil among the North and the South in various battles that came to be known as the American Civil War. During this time, the South wanted to secede from the Union so that they could keep slavery, the North however wanted to abolish slavery and keep the North and the South united. The controversy from this period sparked some of the greatest speeches, plays, books, and poems of all time, all powerful and heartfelt in their own way.
Included in the literary works born from the Civil War are Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address as well as Emily Dickinson’s poem, Success Is Counted Sweetest. Even though Lincoln’s speech is considered rhetoric while Dickinson’s is categorized as a poem, both individuals employed several of the characteristics that identify their writings as rhetorical discourses, including all four of the resources of language which seek in the goal of persuasion. Argument, appeal, arrangement, and artistic devices are successfully used by both pieces, and even though there is an obvious difference among writing style which is what causes Dickinson’s piece to be classified as a poem rather than rhetoric, it still contains all the components of a rhetorical discourse. Despite the obvious length difference, Success Is Counted Sweetest is still just as effective rhetorically as Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, therefore it should also be classified as rhetoric.
As Abraham Lincoln addressed the country when he was reelected to serve a second term as president of the United States, he couldn’t avoid but make several arguments in his speech. As part of the North, and a known supporter for the emancipator of the slaves, his arguments surrounded the wa...


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...ing ideas that show to the reader the two completely opposite sides there is to victory.
Throughout both works, aesthetics, or artistic devices played a major role. Diction, metaphors, and symbolism were the defining parts of these rhetorical discourses. As stated previously, Lincoln ended his speech with pathos, in he says to, “bind up the nation’s wounds.” This metaphor shows how impacting the war was in all aspects and that it needs to be fixed. In her poem Dickinson opts to use ne’er rather than never, favoring diction more relatable to the times of the Civil War. She also uses “purple host” as symbolism to royalty or higher status or rank. All of these instances make their works more memorable and appealing.
Lincoln and Dickinson made their mark on the literature of the Civil War and each included the defining characteristics to make it a rhetorical piece.

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Essay on Abraham Lincoln 's Second Inaugural Address

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