Rhetorical Devices In The Gettysburg Address

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Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” is an eminent source of American literature. The principles of human equality and civil war sacrifices are highlighted in his speech. Throughout his address, he invokes the principle of equality contained in the Declaration of Independence, a document made 87 years prior to his speech, that declared equal rights to all people in America. To strengthen his speech, he consistently uses rhetorical devices in order to powerfully convey his gratitude to the soldiers that fought during the civil war and his hope for a national rebirth. Overall, his speech is a true devotion to his desperate need to sustain the union and to give thanks to the soldiers. Lincoln substitutes many words in his speech to represent what they actually mean, metonymy. For example, he states “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom”(465), but in reality, he actually means the nation from this point will have a fresh new start. When someone is born, it signifies the start of a new life, which is exactly what he wants for his nation. In addition, “full measure of devotion” (465) is stated as he describes the dedication of the soldiers during the civil war. When …show more content…

In the text, he states: “that we can not dedicate-we cannot consecrate-we cannot hallow-this ground”(464). In this sentence, he constantly repeats “we can not” to stress his belief that his country needs change. He also repeats “that” toward the end of his address to unify his beliefs. For instance, he says “It is rather...to be dedicated to the great task before us-that...devotion-that we here highly resolve that…-and that the government...shall not perish from the earth”(465). Lincoln uses anaphora to connect his ideas, display his concern for the America, and explain the actions it will take to fulfill the desires he has for the

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