Rhetorical Analysis Of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

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Uses of Rhetoric in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address On March 4th, 1865, the Civil War was drawing to an end and Abraham Lincoln gave his Second Inaugural Address to become the President of the United States for the second time. At this point it was clear that the North was to win the war. Instead of boasting and bragging about his victory, Lincoln took a different route in his speech. He focused instead on putting the war behind the nation and reunifying the country. In this famous speech, he used various forms of rhetoric and literary devices to achieve this goal. He first employs the use of God to appeal to the pathos in the people of the North and South. The overall tone of the speech is also one of unification rather than that of celebration. Going with this is his word choice or diction; he continuously addresses the country as one instead of two split parts. These literary devices are crucial to the success of his core purpose of speech. While both the North and the South had differences and…show more content…
It was believed that he would come out bragging, and boasting about the glorious victory of the Union over the Confederacy. Instead we see him focusing forward on the unification of the nation with a peaceful tone in his voice. In the final paragraph, we see a perfect example of this with the phrase, “With malice toward none, with charity for all.” This quote from the speech shows that he wants charity for all, North and South alike; it also shows how he has no intentions of malice, which is crucial. In the second half of that statement, he also states, “Let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.” This quote shows us how President Lincoln, wants the nation to unite and calls for Americans to come together as
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