Topic: Essays

Last updated: March 22, 2019

In the shadow of death, the human voice can soothe aching souls in search of answers.

Deliverances of such a nature can often elevate the words bestowed upon attentive audiences to become markers of the times. Two orations that have outlasted the passage of time and the critical eyes of countless passersby in such a way are Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Pericles’ Funeral Oration. Though the speeches were delivered thousands of years apart, they present a variety of complex comparisons and contrasts across the texts. Pericles’ and Lincoln’s orations mirror each other through the messages conveyed and the contexts in which they are delivered. However, the speeches contrast one another in relation to the audience and the purposes of the orators.

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Despite the significant gap of time between Pericles’ Funeral Oration and The Gettysburg address, there are many visible parallels within the context and content of the speeches. For example, both declarations were delivered to commemorate soldiers who had fallen in ongoing wars – The Peloponnesian War and the Battle of Gettysburg. Consequently, as influential members of the society, Pericles and Lincoln both heavily relied on themes of patriotism and duty to the nation.


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