Rhetorical Analysis Of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

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On March 4,1865, President Abraham Lincoln stood before his country to address the current and future state of the nation during his second Inauguration. The civil war had been raging for four long years, leaving the American people tired and worn. The people were well of the damage the civil war had caused their nation; they looked to Lincoln for a source of comfort and hope. Families and friends had been forced to turn away from each other as the union tore itself in two. The civil war developed around the conflict of whether or not slavery should be abolished. At this time, 1/8 of the population were slaves. The country was divided on the basis of slave or free. Brother fought brother and father fought son as the war raged on. Both sides …show more content…

He took special care to speak to both the North and the South sides of the United States. Lincoln included both sides to show how much he wished for unity. He didn’t want to continue to watch his beloved country grow further and further apart. This desire for unity is reflected by his solemn and encouraging tone. As the nation listened, each side felt equally acknowledged by their leader. When Lincoln began to bring his address to a close, he proclaimed “Let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds…” America can clearly see they have a leader who strives for harmony among his …show more content…

Lincoln knew this about his people, which explains why he used biblical allusions to better connect with the country. All throughout the address Lincoln speaks of the North and South relying on the Bible and God to guide them during the war. The aspect of faith has a strong emotional appeal, forming a strong bond between President Lincoln and his people. As previously stated, Lincoln spoke to unite the nation. One way he went about this was referring to the nation as two different sides as little as possible. Instead of continuously using the term “North and South,” Lincoln used words such as “we,” “us,” “all,” and “our.” Neither side felt as if they were being scorned or mocked, instead both sides were met with a sense of belonging. In paragraph three Lincoln took a risk when using one long sentence of 78 words. Some of the American people could’ve easily lost focus. But Lincoln drew their attention back toward his speech by following with a short rhyming sentence. Lincoln packed his address with alliteration. In the first paragraph he uses many words that begin with the letter p. It can be assumed that he was drawing emphasis to the word “prediction.” The war was drawing to a close, it ended about a month later. Lincoln might’ve had an idea of which side would win, but he chose to not make a prediction and show favoritism towards one side or the other. Lincoln also chose to only use the phrase “civil war” once. He called it a

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