Essay about President Abraham Lincoln 's Speech

718 Words Mar 27th, 2016 3 Pages
This paper deconstructs President Abraham Lincoln’s address at the famous Gettysburg battlefield, and explores the United States’ 16th President’s art of persuasion, magnanimously rallying to bring together the slave-owning Southern states and the opposing North in a 2-minute speech. Asked to provide merely a few remarks on the occasion, Lincoln followed Edward Everett, who spoke for two hours beforehand. Ironically, the most eloquent speech ever given (McPherson, 1996), for this assignment is resurrected on Easter weekend—over 150 years after Lincoln’s assassination by John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday in 1865. (Abraham Lincoln, 2014.)
Lincoln’s invitation to speak at the event was, on the outer layer, the matter of the sitting President dedicating the new Gettysburg cemetery. On the innermost layer was an opportunity for Lincoln to uses his rhetoric to preach human equality, and in uniting the young nation to end the business of slavery. Beginning remarks of his address contained examples of persuasion that the President used in appealing to the large audience, such as the scripture-esque writing of ‘Four Score and seven years ago.’ This obscure date reference, followed by ‘our fathers’ resonated with the religious views of the era, and pointed back to The Declaration of Independence, a document Lincoln used for much of his content. A ‘score’ was equal to 20 years, thus “The Gettysburg Address”, given 87 years after the Declaration was signed, used repetition to solidify…

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