Essay on Abraham Lincoln 's Gettysburg Address

1211 Words Nov 17th, 2015 5 Pages
Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” was presented in 1863 while Pericles’ “Funeral Oration” was given in 431 BCE. The former was written to close a ceremony dedicating the old battlefield to the fallen soldiers while the latter was presented in a public funeral tradition to honor the dead. Pericles’ Funeral Oration and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address compare and contrast in terms of historical context, themes, and rhetorical features. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Pericles’ Funeral Oration did share a variety of similar historical contexts, despite the large time frame separating the speeches. Each speech was given after a battle to honor the dead. Lincoln’s speech was presented after the bloody battle of Gettysburg while Pericles’ speech was given after the first year of the Peloponnesian War during an Athens tradition of a public funeral for the fallen soldiers. Furthermore, no one knows the exact words said by Lincoln and Pericles. The best well known version of Lincoln’s speech was translated by the Associated Press by ear. There were also five different copies of the speech, all in Lincoln’s handwriting. Pericles’ Funeral Oration was also recorded by Thucydides, with “many scholars arguing over how far he went to copy exact words and when he might have paraphrased it” (Bristol University). Not everything is the same, and this holds true with the speeches given by Lincoln and Pericles. Pericles was a general at the time and had the one of the biggest roles…

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