The Declaration of Independence Essay

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In the following excerpts, Lucas champions The Declaration of Independence as a literary and rhetorical masterpiece.

The Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most masterfully written state paper of Western civilization. As Moses Coit Tyler noted almost a century ago, no assessment of it can be complete without taking into account its extraordinary merits as a work of political prose style. Although many scholars have recognized those merits, there are surprisingly few sustained studies of the stylistic artistry of the Declaration. This essay seeks to illuminate that artistry by probing the discourse microscopically—at the level of the sentence, phrase, word, and syllable. By approaching the Declaration in this way, we can shed light both on its literary qualities and on its rhetorical power as a work designed to convince a "candid world" that the American colonies were justified in seeking to establish themselves as...

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This section contains 2,308 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Declaration of Independence Study Guide
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