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Compare the Gettyburg Address and the Funeral of Pericles - Term Paper Example

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Summary
Index 1. Introduction 2. Historical background of the speeches 3. Themes of the speeches 4. Learning from the speeches 5. Views of the speakers 6. Principles worth living and dying for 7. The impact on me 8. Conclusion 9. References Introduction Some statements from history leave a powerful impact on us…
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Compare the Gettyburg Address and the Funeral of Pericles
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Compare the Gettyburg Address and the Funeral of Pericles

Download file to see previous pages... If we analyse these two speeches, we realise that the essence of the democracy is well conveyed by both the speakers on seemingly different yet similar occasions. In the article we are going to analyse these similarities and the message that was conveyed to all those who seek democracy as the tool for effective development of the society. Historical Background Astonishingly both the speeches were delivered in similar circumstances. The Gettysburg address delivered by Abraham Lincoln is considered one of his finest speeches. The speech does not go beyond 2 to 3 minutes, but it conveys the lifelong dream of a visionary to create a society based on equality and justice. The idea of accountability to the society is conveyed by a single phrase stating it is a government by the people, for the people and of the people.1 The background of the address is civil war which changed the course of history of America. Civil war ended the discrimination legally and freed a large section of the society from slavery. The address was delivered at the end of battle of Gettysburg, at the time of consecration of national cemetery at Gettysburg. It was the last speech to be delivered on the occasion. Similar to this the speech delivered by Pericles is also after the battle is ended. It was a tradition in Athens to hold public funerals in the honour of the dead in the war. There were cypress coffins made as per the number of tribes participating in the war. Public was allowed to pay tributes and then the burial was carried out.2 This tradition seems to have been very prevalent as there are several references to these occasions in the history. It was also a tradition that a prominent citizen would address the gathering of the people on such people. Thucydides’ records give an account of what Pericles spoke on one such occasion. Themes of the speeches Both the speeches revolve round the idea of democracy although none of them directly make a mention of democracy. Another important feature is the tribute to the dead in the war. Fighting for the cause they believed in till the last breath is nothing less than heroic. The least a nation or a society can do is honour the dead by creating honouring the death of such heroes. Going forward both speeches emphasise on the greatness of the country and the society they are living in. The speeches end on the note of message to the society to not to forget the sacrifices made by the dead towards the living. Learning from the speeches The discovery of America represented liberty and equality. The speech emphasises on two perspectives. One is the death of the people who believed in the cause for which they died. It will be highly ungrateful of the society to forget the ultimate sacrifice made by these war heroes. War for any society travels from general to personal level, while the cause of the war is general and applies to the entire society by and large; the death of war heroes is every bit personal to the families and loved ones. The boundaries of sacrifice extend to these families for whom the loss is more than what can be expressed. Offering of a piece of land to create a cemetery is a gesture of gratitude. It should always be noted that any grand construction or building is created only when there are a few strong pillars who bury themselves underground. Only then the tall construction comes into being. For generations people have fought wars for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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