Essay about Abraham Lincoln the Gettysburg Address

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Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and influential speeches in American history. Delivered on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the address encapsulates Lincoln's profound reflections on the significance of the Civil War and the ideals of freedom and equality. This essay will examine the rhetorical strategies employed by Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, highlighting its enduring power and impact on the nation.


Use of Ethos:

In the opening lines of the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln establishes his credibility and ethos as the President of the United States, entrusted with the responsibility of preserving the Union and leading the nation through the Civil War. His authority lends weight to his words, reinforcing the importance of the occasion and the gravity of the sacrifices made by the soldiers.

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Appeal to Emotion:

Lincoln skillfully employs pathos throughout the speech, aiming to stir the emotions of his audience and create a deep sense of connection. By referencing the hallowed ground of Gettysburg as the final resting place for those who gave their lives, he evokes a profound sense of loss and sacrifice. Lincoln's use of emotionally charged language elicits feelings of patriotism, grief, and determination.

Logical Appeal:

The Gettysburg Address also employs logos, employing logical reasoning to support Lincoln's central argument. He emphasizes the significance of the nation's founding principles, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, and links the Civil War to the ongoing struggle to uphold those ideals. Lincoln's concise yet powerful argumentation highlights the necessity of preserving the Union and the noble cause for which the soldiers fought.

Parallelism and Repetition:

Lincoln utilizes rhetorical devices such as parallelism and repetition to reinforce key ideas and create a rhythmic and memorable speech. The famous phrase "government of the people, by the people, for the people" showcases parallel structure, emphasizing the essence of democracy and the importance of a government that serves the citizens.

Call to Action:

In the concluding portion of the address, Lincoln delivers a compelling call to action, urging the listeners to honor the fallen soldiers by dedicating themselves to the unfinished work of preserving the Union and upholding the principles of equality. His words inspire a sense of duty and responsibility, galvanizing the nation to carry on the struggle for freedom and justice.


Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address stands as a masterful example of rhetorical prowess, effectively utilizing ethos, pathos, and logos to convey a powerful message of unity, sacrifice, and the pursuit of liberty. The address transcends its historical context and remains a testament to the enduring values of the United States. Through his skillful use of rhetorical devices, Lincoln captured the nation's attention, stirred their emotions, and called them to action. The Gettysburg Address continues to resonate with audiences, reminding us of the profound impact of words and the power of effective rhetoric in shaping our collective understanding of history and the ideals for which we strive

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