Speech Assignment

The Gettysburg Address is actually a renowned speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln who was then the U.S. and it’s amongst the most cited speeches in the U.S. history. The address was conveyed at the devotion of the country’s soldiers’ memorial park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the Civil War which saw the Confederacy armies by those of the Union at the significant fight of Gettysburg. Lincoln employed several stylistic devices in his speech so as to ensure that it deeply sank into people’s minds forever and the first one is the speech’s organizational pattern which is really chronological. This signified an allegory of organic growth outline similar to that of a particular human life. For instance, the first segment reminds the public on the birth/origin of the nation which forms the past event, while the second covers the present issues testing the nation through civil wars and sacrifices given by the young men and women who fought to defend the young nation. The final part puts forward the duty of the American people plus the future to ensure that the young nation pulls out of battlefields and grow to full maturity through the constitution, civil rights and economic development.

The opening of the address, “Four score and seven” is quite noble, elegant and above all poetic as he makes use of the bible with reference to 87 years previously when the nation had attained independence from colonial masters and he reminds the Americans on the foundation of the country which is equality and liberty. He notes that “all men are created equal” and therefore references the both the document of Declaration of Independence and the Bible and consequently gestures that since the people trusted both documents, then they ought to belief in his words too. He applied this lesson so as to persuade Americans to trust his arguments since they were anchored on personal beliefs and principles.

Lincoln goes on to use triple or sometimes called triads “…we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow…” as well as parallelism “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” These two stylistic devices are quite influential speaking techniques which add power, vividness, clarity, and rhythm to the spoken words and as a result make them absolutely memorable. Once they are said out loud, one is able to perceive the powerful intonation and rhythm.

Furthermore, he deploys contrast in his speech, for instance, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” Whereby the words remember definitely contrasts forget while say compares did. Also, he says; “… for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live” whereby the demise of American soldiers contrasts with the living of the country. Sarcastically, Lincoln was erroneous in his point of noting that his speech will not be remembers as up-to-date his words are vividly remembered and actually will go on to be memorized in the future. Hence, these phrases act as unforgettable sound bites and give the speech an unlimited life. The usages of antithesis in the phrase “add or detract” “…little note nor long remember…” basically adds emphasis on the contrasting ideas and makes them long memorable.

The two excerpts might be similar or rather produce similar meanings but the first one completely lacks any stylistic structure. The first extract is quite plain and therefore no catchy phrases to make it memorable and thus easy to forget. Moreover, it doesn’t provoke the listener’s mind into thinking out ideas and trying to figure out the hidden meaning or even the deeper sense. The second excerpt contains numerous stylistic devices like repetition, contrast, and parallelism and therefore sends the listener’s mind rolling and thinking beyond the words. This makes it catchy and memorable. For this reason, both passages show the significance of stylistic language in speech making.

Source: Online Homework Help