Analysis of Spielberg’s Film “Lincoln”

In the film “Lincoln” by inimitable Steven Spielberg, a number of remarkable rhetoric techniques can be found. The film tells the story of the last four months of the President’s life. During this period, Lincoln is faced with complicated problems centered on the need to pass contradictory amendments in the Senate. As Lincoln’s opponents are many, the President is to resort to the use of the most powerful means of persuasion. Thus, studying its plot can be of great benefit for learning more about the use of such important rhetoric techniques as ethos, logos, and pathos. Overall, the viewers may see the examples of ethos and pathos in the scene where Lincoln speaks to the Senate, and the example of logos in the scene, where he is convincing his adherents in his cabinet.

Speaking about the scene in the film, where a vivid example of ethos can be seen, the scene, where Lincoln is trying to persuade the audience in the Senate can be mentioned. In this scene, the President relies on his own exalted standing to make the audience agree with his conclusions regarding the necessity of adopting new amendments to the Constitution that would offer equal rights to the citizens of the United States. This scene can be characterized as the one using ethos because it shows Lincoln as the leader of the nation, who deserves attention on the reason for this dignified position. The credibility and trustworthiness of the information revealed in this scene are defined by the reputation of the President. To make stress his authorized position, and have a greater impact on the audience, the speaker uses special speech techniques. Among them are his confident tone and inspiration.

With regards to the scene, showing an example of logos, the scene, where Lincoln speaks to his adherents in his cabinet becomes of great interest. In this scene, he uses a range of logical evidence to confide them in his rightfulness. The use of logic is a classical example of logos. Logos are often seen as the most effective method to convince a reasonable audience. This scene proves it. The viewers may see that Lincoln’s logical arguments achieve their goal.

Finally, the scene, featuring an excellent example of pathos, is also the scene, where the President speaks to the Senate. In this scene, the audience may see the President many times emphasizing his being proud of his country, and its great achievements in the field of democracy. This pride is the actual visualization of pathos. This is so because pathos is seen as a strong emotional appeal to the public with the purpose of encouraging it to act in a certain way. In Lincoln’s words in this scene, the viewers may see both the emotional appeal and the call for action. Lincoln’s pathos in this scene becomes a leading factor of his victory during the debates in the Senate.

In conclusion, the film “Lincoln” presents a number of excellent examples of the use of outstanding rhetoric techniques. Among them are ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos and pathos are many times shown in the movie simultaneously. For example, the scene, where Lincoln speaks to the Senate shows him both as a trustworthy leader and an emphatic speaker, proud of his country and fellow compatriots. The example of logos in the film is in the scene, where Lincoln is reasoning with his supporters. There, the main hero manages to convince them by means of his logical evidence.

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"Analysis of Spielberg's Film “Lincoln”." DemoEssays, 1 Sept. 2023,


DemoEssays. (2023) 'Analysis of Spielberg's Film “Lincoln”'. 1 September.


DemoEssays. 2023. "Analysis of Spielberg's Film “Lincoln”." September 1, 2023.

1. DemoEssays. "Analysis of Spielberg's Film “Lincoln”." September 1, 2023.


DemoEssays. "Analysis of Spielberg's Film “Lincoln”." September 1, 2023.