A Rhetorical Analysis Of Speech By Patrick Henry

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In 1775, the second Virginia Convention was held and during the debate on whether or not the colonies should mobilize for military action in response to Britain; Patrick Henry respectfully proposes arming the Virginia Militia and introduces his view on what actions to take in regard to the conflict with Britain. While the delegates want to peacefully approach the situation, Patrick Henry calls for action and he expresses this by establishing credibility with the audience, questioning the audience, and use of repetition. Henry’s tone shifts from a respectful to a frustrated and urgent tone. Patrick Henry starts of his speech by taking into account of the colonists and emphasizes that he has a different view on how to handle the conflict. Henry does not discredit the views of the audience but instead references the Bible saying, “but different men see the same subject in different lights.”(1) Henry builds up to his argument, as he uses juxtaposition between freedom and slavery, “I consider it nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery.”(1) Henry …show more content…

In order to make the audience realize the reality of the situation, Henry asks “Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?” (1) He inserts the adjective, “insidious” to describe the Britains who are “deceiving” the audience in that their continuous effort to make peace with Britain is coming to an end. Henry continues to ask, “ are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation?” Here he points out that the British has pretty much forced them into submission because they are already out to attack. His repetition of rhetorical questions challenges the audience in a way that it gives them no other option but to fight. At this point, Henry is hoping that no man is indulging in the “ allusions of hope” but rather realizing that there is no room for peace or

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