The Gettysburg Address : President Abraham Lincoln Essay

The Gettysburg Address : President Abraham Lincoln Essay

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The Gettysburg Address was presented by U.S President Abraham Lincoln on November 19th 1863. The speech was delivered during the American Civil War at the dedication of the Soldiers ' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The context of the speech is that four months earlier, Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, which is widely recognized as the turning point in the war. The stated purpose of Lincoln’s speech was to dedicate a plot of land that would become the Soldier’s National Cemetery to honour the fallen. However, as the Civil War still raged he needed to extol liberty and honor in the people fighting in order for them to continue the fight. Lincoln used a range of techniques throughout his address including, referencing, contrast and repetition, which is what made it so effective.

Lincoln implements a range of eloquent language as well as referencing documents of importance to engage his audience, the American people. The speech opens with “four score and seven years ago”, which is an elegant and noble way of saying 87 years ago; it is also a biblical reference. This is mentioned as 87 years before the U.S gained freedom from Britain and the Declaration of Independence was signed. Lincoln then reminds the listeners the basis on which the country was founded: liberty and equality. He then expresses “all men are created equal”. By referencing the Bible and the Declaration of Independence the audience is engaged as these documents instilled in them some of their strongest beliefs. As Lincoln is referencing the documents he is signaling that if the audience trusts these words and that they should trust his words as well. When he expresses that the Civil War is “testing whether th...


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...d for its power and “nation” is implemented to give a higher purpose. Repetition of “the people” at the closing of the speech assists in captivating the listeners as it reminds them that they are honouring those who gave "the ultimate sacrifice" did so for them. Lincoln’s implementation of repetition throughout the address emphasises his point of extolling honour in the soldiers and engages the audience and successfully encourages them to continue the fight.

During Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address he uses a range of techniques in order to engage his audience. The implementation of referencing the Bible and Declaration of Independence, repetition and contrast greatly assist in Lincoln being able to captivate his audience. By engaging his audience, he successfully achieves his purpose of extolling liberty and honor in the people fighting in pursuit for them to continue.

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