Rhetorical Analysis: The Gettysburg Address

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Everyone, at some point in their lives will read, The Gettysburg Address, as it is one of the most popular speeches in the United States. However, taking a deeper look into the speech, it is pure rhetorical genius. Lecturing on the human condition and transcendent issues make it a brilliant literary work. Although written in 1863, when the speech was given it was pragmatic for the time period. Addressing the audience with emotion and a sense of belonging, Lincoln, used rhetorical strategies to call his people to action. Through the use of deliberation, repetition, and pathos, The Gettysburg Address is successful in persuading the American people to fight for their country. According to Aristotle, there are three situational rhetorical categories. In the case of the Gettysburg Address, the situation is deliberative.…show more content…
“Pathos is a technical term from Greek rhetoric: the ability to stir intense emotion and total participation on the aesthetic and affective levels” (Garlini 83). Drawing emotion from his audience by recalling the people who fought bravely before them, Lincoln really pulls at the heartstrings of his listeners. “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced” (Lincoln). Reminding the audience that these people died for us, we need to fight for them. Or in other words, “you’re a coward if you run away”, Lincoln gives his audience somewhat of an ultimatum. Not only does Lincoln push for the representation of the previous soldiers, but he is also pushing to save the great nation the thought that “all men were created equal”. Lincoln pulls at the human condition that everyone wants to belong and builds hope in the men and woman that are not yet free. By creating an emotional tie to his audience, Lincoln can connect to them on the most intimate level and gain their trust. Making his speech strong and worthy of
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