The America Play


Suzan-Lori Parks

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Gettysburg Address Term Analysis

Arguably the most famous speech in American political history, a brief (less than 300-word) address delivered by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in 1863. The speech honored fallen Union soldiers and emphasized the “great task” of restoring unity and creating equality in the United States. Its first words, “four score and seven years ago” (a reference to the eighty-seven years between the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and Lincoln’s speech), are commonly repeated, even out of context, and the Foundling Father frequently recites them when he plays the character of Lincoln throughout The America Play.
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Gettysburg Address Term Timeline in The America Play

The timeline below shows where the term Gettysburg Address appears in The America Play. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Part D: Echo
History, Narrative, and Multiplicity Theme Icon
Race and American Identity Theme Icon
Theater and Reality Theme Icon
...him. Then, he breaks out into his “crowd pleaser,” the first sentence of Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address (“4score and 7 years ago,” and so on). He names states and their capitals, and... (full context)
Act 2, Part G: The Great Beyond
History, Narrative, and Multiplicity Theme Icon
Theater and Reality Theme Icon
Family, Trauma, and Personal Identity Theme Icon
...the Foundling Father says that he “believe[s] this is the place where [he] do[es] the Gettysburg Address ,” and Brazil and Lucy are surprised and confused—although Lucy promises Brazil that “he’s dead.”... (full context)