What Was Lincoln's Ethos In The Gettysburg Address

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In just about three minutes, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the greatest speeches in American history, on November 19, 1863. At the Soldiers’ National Cemetery on the battle-field of Gettsyburg, Pennsylvania, he was to make an oration in honor of the fallen soldiers. President Lincoln somewhat doubted his words saying, "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here." Yet, America has not forgotten the remarkable, 272-word speech. How could such brevity, make this historic, noteworthy address? Well, there’s no doubt each of Aristotle’s rhetorical appeals were not only used, but were very well-combined in creating such powerful persuasion. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was indeed successful in appealing to …show more content…

The use of ethos is apparent by the simple fact that the President of the United States was speaking. Abraham Lincoln was clearly a well-educated, respected, and noble man. He was a lawyer and U.S. Congressman from Illinois, before getting elected president. With his leadership in the Civil War, efforts in abolishing slavery, and his emphasis on the independence of the people, we could say he had honorable character and good intentions for his country. He was most definitely a source that America could rely on and trust to hear from. Another effective, inherent use of ethos appeal was merely by the way he spoke and his diction. The famous first line of the speech begins “four score and seven years ago….” He could’ve just said “eighty-seven years ago”. But, his word choice is thoughtful. It goes on, “our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Lincoln refers to the Founding …show more content…

He reached out to the audience’s emotions, by recognizing the lives and deaths of the soldiers, and what they were going through. “The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.” He’s telling the audience that there’s really no knowing how much they struggle! They must have felt nothing but sorrow at this point, especially since they were literally standing where the battle of Gettysburg took place. The horrifying thoughts of the war were already consuming their minds. His expressive language was so captivating, you can only imagine what it was like to actually hear him speak. “We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.” The way he uses “we cannot...cannot…cannot” built up this excitement and rhythm that he must’ve articulated when he spoke it. It sends chills down my spine! His incredible passion and powerful, fluent use of words really draws you

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