An Analysis of the Gettysburg Address- by William Clay Thomspon


Abraham Lincoln – W&M

An analysis of the Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg address – he used poetry to write it

He is a poet who became a president.
Four score and seven years ago…

He could have used the exact date, but chose to start the speech with this statement. It’s poetic.

Soft consonants l m, n r
We see…
Alliteration, consonance, rhythm throughout the speech

Spondee- two stressed syllables in a row- used this in the main points

Spondee- all men, that war,  these dead, new birth, they gave
He puts them in his main talking points.

Submerged sonnet- Take a piece of poetry and  hide it.
Example: Shakespeare puts one in the Romeo and Juliet .Submerged sonnet is found in his work. (14 lines) They kiss on the final syllable on the submerged sonnet in Romeo and Juliet.

Even great Novels tend to be poetic.

He even kept his speech in  his hat.
75% of speech is made of one syllable words to reach all people.

Even though he had a monster vocabulary.
Big words were used like hallow and consecrate, but people knew these because of church.

He repeats the word “here” eight times .

Grammar – A lot of personal pronouns used
“We” and”they” are in the speech to pull people together.

Verbs- almost all verbs used are action- this is an action plan of  what we’ve done and should do. It’s about taking action.
Five linking verbs and forty action verbs

John Adams last words were Thomas Jefferson still lives.
Even though TJ died a few hours  earlier.

Used Thomas Jefferson main point that All men are created equal.

How many decades old is this country? 23 decades
It’s really a new nation.

Address is only ten sentences.
They told him to make a “few appropriate remarks”.
He wasn’t even the keynote speaker.

The tenth sentence is a conclusion  made of 81 words.
Three paragraphs in the work:
First one is about long ago
Second one is present
Third  is about future

Each paragraph has the word “dedicated” in it.
Ties the whole address altogether.

And the word “nation”, too.
What was the reaction to this speech?
He praised both sides equally- he doesn’t rub it in that the south won.

Can you imagine if that type of speech were made today where he praised both sides?

Ward Lamon (sp?)  was his buddy.

Lincoln said “the people are disappointed ” to his friend after the speech.

Newspapers scoured him- ripped his speech.
Main speaker was Edward Everett.

He wasn’t impressed by Lincoln at all.

But when  heard Lincoln’s speech, he understood. He asked for a copy the next day.

Conclusion – The whole world can benefit when a gifted mind is developed.

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This post was written by , posted on March 25, 2013 Monday at 10:36 am

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