In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared, Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.” Lincoln’s words tug at the heartstrings of his audience by referencing the many years of perseverance poured into the birth of this nation. This pathos tactic was successful because it allowed the audience to bond with that idea and become persuaded emotionally. The mention of the nation’s conception of liberty by its forefathers, vouched for the integrity of the nation’s intent, thus applying the ethos approach to support Lincoln’s moral disposition.
When Lincoln specified, All men are created equal, used the logos method to provoke the listeners rational and intellectual reasoning. Lincoln built and structured his claim while engaging the listeners by alternating between these three key elements. President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address gave a successful argument by using the pathos, ethos, and logos methods of persuasion to assure the nation that bloodshed during the Civil War, was not without cause and would ultimately result in a new dawn of liberty all over the nation. Furthermore, by using the pathos means of expression, Lincoln is showing his devotion and passion concerning the claim he is making. Author Asslander defines pathos as how passionately a person stands up for his or her personal moral convictions.
In the Gettysburg Address speech, Lincoln is addressing the events that occurred during and after the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln voiced, The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here. (186) it supported his opinion that the nation will endure and prosper through the war. This was a very emotional time for people within the nation and many were still recovering and coping with the traumatic aftermaths. The fact that there was a civil war happening in the first place contradicted the grounds for which the nation was created.
By interlocking his listener’s personal feelings with his speech emotionally, this allowed a cloud of sensitivity to influence his audience’s discretionary and ultimately coaxing them to side with his argument. As a result of investing so much into his speech emotionally, President Lincoln was then able to build character, credibility and apply the ethos method of persuasion while continuing to draw the audience into his speech. The use of ethos offers his listeners a sense of trust. There are some cases when that sense of trust is false. However, Lincoln’s speech was genuine as it was shown throughout his term as president.
With trust and credibility comes reliance. From the start of his speech, Lincoln organized his words to build a relationship in which he could then tap into his audience’s natural logic and ability to reason, which leads directly to the practice of logos as a technique of persuasion. Consequently, by including factual events and statements in his speech, Lincoln appeals to his audience’s intelligence. Lincoln’s writing style was directed towards the general public in the sense that he was talking to people within the nation about its current events. The logos method is about moving your spectators with statistics and relatable occurrences. Lincoln did this when he addressed the lives affected by the Civil War.
Lincoln stated, The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here. Here, Lincoln is acknowledging the events that occurred while pledging change and equality for the nation’s future. The structure of the Gettysburg Address, is solid and included clear arguments that made it well organized and easy to follow. Lincoln’s speech upheld his thesis statement and demonstrated the ability to connect with his audience in a clear conscientious manner while making his key points. Lincoln’s speech is captivating and demands attention while keeping the same ideas throughout. The body of the speech proved to be well thought out conclusion was strong and included supporting facts providing a successful argument. It is not necessary for a writer to use all three of the mentioned modes of persuasion to deliver an effective case. However, the way that Lincoln combed these techniques, produced the perfect delivery of his Gettysburg Address, which is now one of America’s most unforgettable speeches.
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