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This essay delves into the themes of and motivations for Thomas Cole’s series of paintings, The Course of Empire. Through an analysis of the different rhetorical appeals and fallacies employed by Cole in the series of paintings, the deeper meaning behind the works comes to light. This analysis serves as a bridge between the environment the paintings were created in almost two hundred years ago, and the contemporary global landscape, which is still in need of its lessons, even so many years later.



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