A Reading Quiz on the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln

A Multiple-Choice Quiz

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A painting of President Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863. (Ed Vebell/Getty Images)

Characterized as both a prose poem and a prayer, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is a concise rhetorical masterwork. After reading the speech, take this short quiz, and then compare your responses with the answers below.

  1. Lincoln's short speech begins, famously, with the words "Four score and seven years ago." (The word score comes from an Old Norwegian word meaning "twenty.") What famous document does Lincoln allude to in the first sentence of his speech?
    (A) The Declaration of Independence
    (B) The Articles of Confederation
    (C) Constitution of the Confederate States of America
    (D) The United States Constitution
    (E) Emancipation Proclamation
  1. In the second sentence of his address, Lincoln repeats the verb conceived. What is the literal meaning of conceive?
    (A) to bring to an end, close
    (B) to overcome the distrust or animosity of; to appease
    (C) to be of interest or importance to
    (D) to become pregnant (with offspring)
    (E) to keep from being seen, found, or discovered
  2. In the second sentence of his address, Lincoln refers to "that nation." Which nation is he talking about?
    (A) the Confederate States of America
    (B) the Northern States of America
    (C) the United States of America
    (D) Great Britain
    (E) Union States of America
  3. "We are met," Lincoln says in line three, "on a great battlefield of that war." What is the name of that battlefield?
    (A) Antietam
    (B) Harpers Ferry
    (C) Manassas
    (D) Chickamauga
    (E) Gettysburg
  4. A tricolon is a series of three parallel words, phrases, or clauses. In which of the following lines does Lincoln employ a tricolon?
    (A) "We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. "
    (B) "Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."
    (C) "This we may, in all propriety do."
    (D) "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here."
    (E) "But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground."
  1. This ground, Lincoln says, has been "consecrated" by the "men . . . who struggled here." What is the meaning of consecrated?
    (A) empty, containing a deep space
    (B) soaked in blood
    (C) made sacred
    (D) desecrated, violated
    (E) greeted in a warm and friendly manner
  2. Parallelism is a rhetorical term meaning "similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses." In which of the following sentences does Lincoln use parallelism?
    (A) "This we may, in all propriety do."
    (B) "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here."
    (C) "We are met on a great battlefield of that war."
    (D) "But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground."
    (E) Both B and D
  1. Lincoln repeats several key words in his short address. Which one of the following words does not appear more than once?
    (A) dedicated
    (B) nation
    (C) freedom
    (D) dead
    (E) living
  2. The phrase "birth of freedom" in the final line of Lincoln's address calls to mind which similar phrase in the first sentence of the speech?
    (A) "all men are created equal"
    (B) "conceived in liberty"
    (C) "Four score and seven years ago"
    (D) "dedicated to the proposition"
    (E) "upon this continent"
  3. Epiphora (also known as epistrophe) is a rhetorical term meaning "the repetition of a word or phrase at the end of several clauses." In what portion of the long final sentence of "The Gettysburg Address" does Lincoln use epiphora?
    (A) "It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here"
    (B) "this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom"
    (C) "that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause"
    (D) "we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain"
    (E) "government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish"

Answers to the Reading Quiz on the Gettysburg Address

  1. (A) The Declaration of Independence
  2. (D) to become pregnant (with offspring)
  3. (C) the United States of America
  1. (E) Gettysburg
  2. (E) "But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground."
  3. (C) made sacred
  4. (E) Both B and D
  5. (C) freedom
  6. (B) "conceived in liberty"
  7. (E) "government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish"
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Nordquist, Richard. "A Reading Quiz on the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln." ThoughtCo, Apr. 7, 2017, thoughtco.com/reading-quiz-on-the-gettysburg-address-1691790. Nordquist, Richard. (2017, April 7). A Reading Quiz on the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/reading-quiz-on-the-gettysburg-address-1691790 Nordquist, Richard. "A Reading Quiz on the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/reading-quiz-on-the-gettysburg-address-1691790 (accessed May 26, 2018).