Lincoln 's Speech On The Gettysburg Address Essay

Lincoln 's Speech On The Gettysburg Address Essay

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The Gettysburg Address was presented by United States 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. 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 persevere. Lincoln used a range of techniques throughout his address including, referencing, contrast, repetition and inclusive language, 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. Lincoln references the Bible as it was of great importance to the audience and instilled some of their strongest beliefs. Lincoln highlights 87 years ago as that is when 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 expresses that “all men are created equal”. Through specifically highlighting words from the Declaration of Independence he is speaking to the issue of slavery, and in doing so he is trying to expand the cause of the war. By referencing the Bible and the Declaration of Independence Lincoln is signaling t...


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...allow”. He uses this to emphasise that the people gathered there are very much included in the civil war. Throughout the address “our” and “us” are also used to include the audience, Lincoln says “our fathers” and “before us”. Lincoln used inclusive language so he did not elevate himself above the audience or the “honored dead”; he identified himself as part of the American people. Through the use of inclusive language Lincoln was able to connect with his audience on a more personal level.

During Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address he uses a range of techniques: referencing the Bible and Declaration of Independence, contrast, repetition and inclusive language. These assisted Lincoln in captivating his audience. Lincoln successfully achieves his purpose of extolling liberty and honor in the people and therefore convinces them persevere despite the losses of the Civil War.

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