Intention

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address is a speech that focuses on the topics of human equality and freedom in the context of the American Civil War. The war was between American states that supported slavery and those who supported abolishing it.

The official purpose of the speech was to pay homage to the soldiers who died during the battle of Gettysburg, at the inauguration of the Soldiers' National Cemetery: “We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live.”

However, the speaker’s overall intention was to motivate soldiers and Unionist supporters to continue fighting for their cause: keeping the US whole and abolishing slavery: “It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us…”

First of all, the speaker uses historical allusions t...

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