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Persuasion From Candidate: A Rhetorical Analysis

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In the essay What We Can Learn About the Art of Persuasion from Candidate Abraham Lincoln: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Three Speeches That Propelled Lincoln into the Presidency, Michael Loudenslager analyzes the rhetorical devices used by Abraham Lincoln that made him the most prominent political figure of the day. When Loudenslager’s analysis is employed to real world applications in various business ventures, this knowledge can be extremely useful in becoming a successful persuader in every facet of life. To begin, Loudenslager gives a brief overview of Lincoln’s extensive legal career. This history in and of itself is not terribly important to the overall message of the essay, but it helps outline a context with which Lincoln became the…show more content…
Using the previously defined rhetorical devices, Loudenslager analyzes three monumental speeches given by Lincoln for the effectiveness of Lincoln’s persuasive abilities. These three speeches are his Peoria, Illinois speech, his “House Divided Speech”, and his address at Cooper Union. The first speech he analyzes is Lincoln’s Peoria speech. Here, Loudenslager identifies some key characteristics in his speech such as his uncanny ability to turn Stephen Douglas’s own argument against him.Then, Lincoln uses repetition and theme to drive home the importance of the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and how the Kansas-Nebraska Act violated those ideals. By constntly bringing his argument back to the allusion of the Declaration, Lincoln becomes very persuasive to the American audience. Second, in Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech, Loudenslager analyzes the effective biblical allusion in this speech where Lincoln uses phrasing from a story about Jesus casting out demons. By relating his argument to a well known story for the time, Lincoln demonstrates a mastery in public persuasion. Finally, Loudenslager takes a look at Lincoln’s address at Cooper Union. Here, the key aspect of this speech is Lincoln’s ability to employ exhaustive research in order to back up his argument. Lincoln goes all the way back to the Founding Father’s own legislative records to counteract Douglas’s assertion that
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