Literary Devices in Gettysburg Address
The (Re)Birth of a Nation: Lincoln employs an extended birth metaphor throughout this short speech; words and phrases such as “brought forth,” “conceived,” and “a new birth of freedom,” reflect this. The birth metaphor allows Lincoln to convey a hopeful, inspirational tone in the speech. Even though so many perished in the battle, from death comes new life, and so a rebirth of the nation is possible through sacrifice.
Allusion, Anaphora, Antithesis, and Imagery: Much of the power in Lincoln’s speech comes from his tight verbiage and powerful diction. Lincoln employs allusions to the founding of the country, repeated structures, evocative imagery, and nuanced syntax to add literary and persuasive force to his claims.
Literary Devices Examples in Gettysburg Address:
Text of Lincoln's Speech🔒
"We are met on a great battle-field of that war..." See in text (Text of Lincoln's Speech)
"or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure..." See in text (Text of Lincoln's Speech)
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth..." See in text (Text of Lincoln's Speech)
"of the people, by the people, for the people,..." See in text (Text of Lincoln's Speech)