Rhetorical Devices In The Gettysburg Address

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In the speech known as the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln talks about the purpose of the war, and he encourages the listeners that it is a noble cause. Towards the beginning of the speech, Lincoln proclaims, “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure” (747). This is where Lincoln defines his cause. By stating the war’s purpose, Lincoln brings his listeners to the same starting thought. When he says, “any nation so conceived and so dedicated,” Lincoln is referring to his previous statement about America being founded on liberty and equality. In this speech after a terrible loss of life, it is important for Lincoln to remind people of this honorable purpose. He will then use this foundation to bring his listeners to the same conclusion. …show more content…

Emphasizing the great sacrifice of the fallen and the duty to honor them strikes a sensitive cord that brings out a desire to fulfill that duty. Lincoln stresses the big picture over the daily struggle venerating the men who died. Lincoln declares, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here” (747). Here, Lincoln highlights the legacy of those who died. He points out the importance of their sacrifice and places their deeds above his own. This is a stepping stone to the final thrust of the speech. Lincoln takes his listeners from a noble purpose to an increased devotion to that purpose. Like any good politician, Lincoln tries to use events to his advantage. Specifically, Lincoln uses the horrific loss of life to spur motivation for his cause. Lincoln ties the loss of life to a noble cause, and then, appeals to the grief of the listeners. Lincoln requests that those listening honor the fallen by committing themselves to furthering the cause that they died for. Concluding his speech Lincoln

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