Pericles And Lincoln 's Funeral Orations Essay

713 Words Sep 22nd, 2015 3 Pages
Pericles’s and Lincoln’s funeral orations both reflect the use of constitutive rhetoric as they use persuasive speech to build up the community. As funeral orators, it is both Pericles and Lincoln’s job not to make the pain go away, but rather bring the grieving community together through overcoming the divide within their respective communities both deaths and civil wars cause. Although providing s successful rhetoric for a grieving community often seems impossible, both Pericles and Lincoln avoid weeping or being clique and focus strictly on building up the community through constitutive rhetoric. In using the constitutive form of rhetoric, Pericles and Lincoln go beyond the individual and explore the notion of the power of their respective city and country as a source of unity among each individual Upon the loss of many Athenian soldiers to Sparta during the civil war, Pericles is charged with the task of giving a funeral oration and resorts to constitutive rhetoric. Standing in front of the grieving Athenian people, Pericles must address the democratic nation in a way which will build up the comminuted and avoid isolating any one individual. In order to build up the democratic city, Pericles avoids praising the heroism of the fallen soldiers, but rather explores the notion of what it means to die for Athens. To pinpoint what it means to be Athenian citizen Pericles states, “In short, I say, that as a city we are the school of Hellas… for Athens alone of her…

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