What are some rhetorical devices used in "The Gettysburg Address" by Abraham Lincoln?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the rhetorical devices used in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is the repetition of important words in order to get a deeper message across to the listeners. Some words that are repeated throughout the address are: dedicate, consecrate, and conceived. The word dedicate can be used to separate a place or idea of significance to become something sacred and more than just ordinary. "Dedicate" can also mean that a person recommits himself/herself to an idea. By using this word repetitively, Lincoln can impress upon the minds of his listeners the importance of both meanings of the word. Consider the dual meanings of the other words that are repeated in the speech, and analyze how they are used in each sentence structure, and a clearer meaning of any implied ideas can be understood in greater depth. It is rhetorically sound to make the audience work a little for meaning in order for the message to embed more deeply into their minds. Another device that should be looked into is the use of negatives like "cannot."

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