Rhetorical Analysis Of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

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President Abraham Lincoln used numerous rhetorical devices in his speech at the Second Inaugural Address to present the audience with the effects of the Civil War. The purpose was to edify the audience on his vision for the nation’s future. He adopts an accepting tone in order to appeal to the feelings and concerns of the men present at the Inaugural. After reading the speech, one can observe the appeal to the audience’s emotion, building of self-credibility, and the use of parallelism used by Lincoln to aid in presenting his vision for the future of the nation. Beginning with building his credibility, Lincoln uses compassionate and relatable language in his speech to engage the audience in his purpose to show the nation’s future. He…show more content…
He seems to have an accepting tone to build onto his credibility. Also a key point in increasing his integrity, are the Biblical allusions found throughout his speech. One major example is when he says “... to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle for his widow and his orphan…” (73-75) and by saying “Yet if God wills that it continue…” (63). This allusion to the Bible allows Lincoln to establish to the audience that he and the audience are alike in the important ways and that everything is done by God’s will. Another example of the Biblical Allusions are when Lincoln reminds the audience “The Almighty has His own purposes” (49-50). This shows that the audience and Lincoln are both under the same “Almighty” and are just following his given path. The Bible was seen as an important guideline to the way of life. By bringing in the Biblical allusions, Lincoln is trying to make the audience aware that he is following the rules. This makes the audience trust him more and develops the image of a leader in the audience’s eyes. In addition, Lincoln appeals to the emotions of the audience when he says, “The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully” (48-49). He is presenting the realization that no one is technically getting what they truly desired in the first place. Also Lincoln indicates the surprising effects of War
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