Rhetorical Analysis Of Abraham Lincoln 's Second Inaugural Address

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Tiana Lanier
Professor Lara Chapman
Rhetorical Communication: A Theory of Civil Discourse
July 7th, 2015
Rhetorical Discourse in Two Distinct Pieces of Work; Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address & Emily Dickinson’s Success is Counted Sweetest Rhetoric is often denoted to as the art of persuasion. A set of linguistic traits and semantics used to evoke emotional responses from its intended audience, opening the floor for unanticipated influence by said audience. It would be an atrocity to ignore the efforts behind this simple yet powerful manipulation. This is referred to as rhetorical discourse. Essentially, there are six characteristics of rhetorical discourse, these characteristics being; rhetoric is planned, adapted to an audience, shaped by human motives, responsive to a situation, seeks persuasion, and is concerned with contingent issues (Herrick 8). Further, each of the characteristics lends itself to support the social functions of rhetoric; testing ideas, assisting advocacy, distributing power, unearthing facts, shaping knowledge, and building communities (Herrick 15). It is with these sentiments in which one compares the rhetorical discourse used in both former President Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address, and Emily Dickinson’s Success is Counted Sweetest. Here the characteristics of rhetorical discourse will be used as a guide for the differences in these two pieces of work. Though both are essentially about the civil war, they share great
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