Abraham Lincoln 's Second Inaugural Address Essay

Abraham Lincoln 's Second Inaugural Address Essay

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While it cannot be argued that Abraham Lincoln’s “Second Inaugural Address” (Address) and Emily Dickinson’s masterpiece known as the “Success is Counted Sweetest” are timeless pieces in literature, some could debate on their placement in the literary categories. Generally, Abraham Lincoln’s Address is labeled as rhetoric while Emily Dickenson’s “Success is Counted Sweetest” is considered to be a poem. The best way to distinguish one from the other would be to go through the elements of rhetorical discourse and see where the literatures show similarities, or otherwise express their differences in their style.
In short, rhetorical discourse is defined by six specific characteristics, to wit: (1) having been planned; (2) having been adapted to a particular audience; (3) having been pursued by a human motive; (4) having been responsive to a situation; (5) having been sought after in a persuasive way; and (6) having been related to a contingent issue (Herrick, 2013, p. 8). Given that persuasion is one of the biggest elements in rhetoric writing, persuasion itself is characterized by four specific elements, to wit: (1) argument; (2) appeal; (3) arrangement; and (4) aesthetics (Herrick, 2013, p. 12).
Taking a special look at Abraham Lincoln’s Address, it could be reasonably asserted that his speech required forethought. It is also evident that Abraham Lincoln’s targeted audience was those who were in contrary with, as well as in support of, the abolishment of slavery (more or less the entire nation). As he spoke, he attempted to reach out to the people and show them that although the nation had been divided on said issue, it was time to let the issue subside and move forward without judgment nor resent towards the other. Specifi...


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...e resources in the same manner.
For example, it could be noted that Lincoln uses words that are less decrypted and easier to understand, while Dickenson utilizes a more poetic style in which the reader would require more effort in uncovering the true meaning behind the passage.
Certainly, when a literature contains the four recourses known as argument, appeal, arrangement, and artistic devices, it should appropriately be known as a rhetoric literature. Notwithstanding, two rhetoric writing can be placed in different literary categories. For example, as previously stated, Abraham Lincoln’s Address is considered rhetoric, while Emily Dickinson’s “Success is Counted Sweetest” is better known as a poem. Nevertheless, both literatures are meant to persuade their audiences in a way to appeal to their emotions and leave an unforgettable mark on their minds and hearts.

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