Rhetorical Analysis Of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

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In Abraham Lincoln’s childhood, he went to school when he was 6, 7, 11, 13 and 15. This schooling added up to less than a year (“A Real Education”). The former President was mostly self-taught and had limited access to books. Despite this, his speeches are sophisticated, moving and memorable. Chief among these speeches is the Second Inaugural Address of 1865. The speech was given on a gloomy, wet day in front of the Capitol Building, approximately one month before his assassination. The speech was aimed at reunifying and urging the Union to rebuild. One of the chief factors of the success of his speeches may be attributed to his strategic use of rhetoric. This rhetoric helped put special emphasis on key phrases and words, helping bring through the intended message.…show more content…
Anaphora President Lincoln uses the rhetoric of anaphora widely in his speech. Anaphora is, “Repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses” (Wolfram). This can be seen in one of his most famous phrases, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us….”(Lincoln, par. 4). By using the word ‘with’ as his key word, Lincoln creates a hook of sorts. The audience is engaged, and expects the next phrase to start with the word ‘with’. By doing this, Lincoln creates a sense of participation in the audience. By doing this, Lincoln builds pathos in the audience. By doing this, Lincoln creates a way to get his point across more effectively, because the audience is already primed and expectant as to his next phrase. President Lincoln also uses the sentences, “Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict
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