Our analysis of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address will be constructed around the rhetorical pentagram model. Here you can read a short overview of our analysis.

In what follows, we will look at the topics of the speech – equality and freedom in the context of the American Civil War – and how the speaker promotes the idea of honoring those who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of the Union.

We will present the speaker and the image he conveys of himself through the content of the speech. Also, we will discuss the audience of the speech – formed by those gathered at the inauguration of the Soldiers' National Cemetery but also by the wider American and international public.

We will examine the language the speaker uses to convey his message, focusing on rhetorical devices like antithesis, repetitions, and allusions, but also on how the speaker appeals to the audience by using pathos, logos and ethos.

We will explore the circumstances of the speech, by looking at the historical context of the American Civil War and the inauguration of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, as well as at how the speech was received.

Finally, we will detail the intention of the speaker to inspire patriotic feelings, bravery, and resilience for the cause of the Union in the Civil War.

You can read the full analysis of the speech in what follows!

Further help

Do you want additional help with analysis of speeches? See our guide to speech analysis:

Speech analysis

I denne vejledning får du Studienets hjælp til, hvordan du analyserer, diskuterer og perspektiverer en tale (speech eller address) i engelskfaget. Kort fortalt handler det typisk om, at du skal lave en retorisk analyse af talen.