Mrs. VitaleAP Lit.1 February 2017Rhetoric in the Gettysburg Address In November 1863, after the bloodshed of the battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.
President Lincoln’s powerful message gave respect to the fallen soldiers who lost their lives in the three-day battle in July. To create his powerful, and resounding speech, President Lincoln used quite a lot of rhetoric. This use of rhetoric is the reason why President Lincoln’s speech is so memorable, even after 154 years.Starting off with Lincoln's use of ethos which set the tone of the speech. Lincoln mostly used ethos to create a formal diction that would be expected of the President of the United States. His use of words such as “hallow”, “devotion”, “nobly”, and “honored” both praise the fallen soldiers and allow him to come across as highly respectable.
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Not to mention his allusion to the Declaration of Independence, “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”(Lincoln, Gettysburg Address) This allusion was extremely important to the emotional and physically drain audience. It symbolized the freedom, and equality they were all fighting for. All of this ethos was incredibly important for Lincoln establishing himself as a fair, representable, and trustworthy leader. After all, they were risking their lives fighting under his command. Next is Lincoln’s use of pathos and the effect it had on his audience. Lincoln's use of pathos in his speech was to respect the fallen soldiers and to console the audience. His repeated use of the word “We” made the drained audience fill with pride and belonging, as Lincoln emphasized their unity as a country.
This feeling of unity is emphasized by Lincoln refraining from using words like “I”, and “You” which single out individuals..