1. Biographical note.
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Civil War, leading to
the emancipation of slaves.
Since Lincoln delivered this speech, millions of Americans have memorized it, and countless others have quoted it or imitated its rhetoric for various purposes. As you read, look again at the familiar words with their original context in mind to see how they served Lincoln’s purpose, his sense of the occasion, and his larger sense of the nation’s history and destiny. Pay particular attention to the tone he uses to appeal to his audience.
Writing promptWhat have you heard or read about the Gettysburg Address? Do you think it is an important speech? Why? Do speeches, especially political speeches, ever change things? Can they affect the way people think, feel, and act? Explain.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war,
testing whether that nation, or any nation so
conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We
are met on a great battle-field of that war. We
have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as
a final resting place for those who here gave their
lives that that nation might live. It is altogether
fitting and proper that we should do this.
living" of work
to be done