Pericles’ and Lincoln’s orations mirror each other through the messages conveyed, the contexts in which they are delivered, and the purposes of the orators. However, the speeches contrast one another in relation to the audience, the purpose of the speaker, and the societal role/significance of the orator. At a time long ago, and in a place far away, a man stood up before his countrymen to console them if he could for the loss of their sons in battle for a righteous cause.
Oration is a formal speech one given at a ceremony. Two of the best orator gave two of the most famous public speeches ever made in the history of our planet: Pericles’ Funeral Oration and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Both speeches were delivered to commemorate those troops who had fallen in the two battles: The Peloponnesian War and the Battle of Gettysburg.
The great Athenian, near the end of his speech, admonished his countrymen to stifle their grieving and get on with life, looking to the nobility of the soldiers as examples. Lincoln, too, passed from discussing the fallen to addressing the living. But he went farther. He placed the living in the same labor of those who had fallen and urged them, lest the fallen should have died in vain, to finish the work that the slain soldiers had so nobly advanced.