Language

The language Abraham Lincoln uses in the Gettysburg Address is formal and solemn. Today, the language of the speech naturally sounds old-fashioned, because it was delivered in 1863. However, the message of the speaker is easy to grasp thanks to the very short length of the addre…

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Choice of words

The choice of words reflects the context of the speech, including references to the American Civil War, the battle of Gettysburg, or American founding principles such as liberty and equality (which were also the principles being fought over in the Civil War).

To emphasize the importance of the soldiers’ sacrifice and have a more memorable impact on the audience, the speaker places a lot of empha…

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Sentence structure

The whole speech is formed of 10 sentences, most of which are short or medium-length: “We are met on a great battlefield of that war.”. However, they are also packed with deep meaning.

The longest sentence is the last one, formed by several parallel clauses which represent a call to action — to continue fightin…

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Tone

The speaker’s overall tone is solemn and inspiring. The solemnity and sadness of the occasion are emphasized through vivid imagery and formal language: “We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place fo…

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