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The Rhetorical Analysis of Gettysburg’s Address

The Gettysburg Address is a popular document in the history of the United States because it helped to unite the people after the war. Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address (1963) asserts the importance of fighting for the liberation of the nation recognizing death and encouraging the living people to fight for democracy. He uses alliteration to unite the people of the United States during war and in the face of death.

Lincoln used alliteration in his address to unite the people after the war when many people died. It was a time when people needed a strong rationale for fighting and dying for a piece of land. And Lincoln in his brief but powerful speech at Gettysburg provides that support. His alliteration helps find common ground and reason for fighting the war. He repeats “we” “our” “us” and “who” to unite all the people. Repeated use of “us” “we” and “our” brings everyone together encouraging people that they are not alone in the fight. The constant reference to the “nation, “new nation” and “new freedom” sets the goal for the people of America to fight for the “new nation.” It is the war that all of the people of US and “our fathers” have fought for freedom and liberation. The speech honors the dead who had fought for the nation and encouraged the living people justifying the fight to gain “freedom.” It provides a purpose and goal in the lives of the people to continue the fight for “our nation.”

Hence, he clarifies with the repetition of uniting words that the fight for liberation must be fought the “our fathers” did, and “we” should not let the people “who gave their lives here” die in “vain.” It produces a sense of responsibility in the people, who must continue the fight without the people who “consecrated” the land. As many people had fought and seen their fellow men die on the battlefield of Gettysburg, it was necessary that they remain motivated to fight in the future as well. The address appealed to their sense of patriotism by repeating the word “nation” and their “dedication” to continue the “unfinished work.” The repeated appeal to patriotism and unity to fight the unfinished war is essential for the people to forget their loved ones who had died in the war and to feel encouraged to fight the unfinished war. The address appeals to the people to “dedicate” their lives to gain liberty. The speech is delivered at a powerful and emotional time when the people had lost their loved ones and fought the war with great losses. Therefore, Lincoln made it for everyone so that people feel connected to the land and continue the fight necessary for liberation.

Hence, he uses “us,” “we” and “our” to appeal to the emotions and attract people for the same cause of liberation. These words are crucial in bringing the people together. The choice of words generates the emotions of patriotism, togetherness, and unity with a strong responsibility and purpose to fight the war that was not finished in the previous war. He emphasizes that “we cannot hallow, or consecrate” the land but “it is for us the living…to be dedicated to the unfinished work” of “our father.” He asserts “We should do it.” He does not allow the people to decide whether they want to fight the war or not. He makes it compulsory by producing the sense that everyone should  fight for the “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Thus, he successfully attracts the people’s attention by repeating the same goal and purpose for everyone and unites them for the new freedom.



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