Allusions In Patrick Henry's Speech

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In times of oppression, mankind has always been known to stand up and fight for a good cause, and the American Revolution was no exception. Held down by the wickedness of the British Empire for some time, America had finally had enough. One voice that stood out in the colonies was that of Patrick Henry. He was an elective of the House of Burgesses and delivered many speeches on the need for revolution. One of his most famous speeches is the “Speech in the Virginia Convention.” Henry was not one to be afraid of the British, and he showed his feelings clearly in this speech. Through rhetorical questions and allusions, Patrick Henry caused a rise in the House of Burgesses by demanding that revolution was the only resolution. Patrick Henry effectively…show more content…
Patrick Henry’s first allusion in his speech is about sirens, dangerous creatures who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting voices and caused them to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Patrick Henry speaks to the President of the House about their illusion of hope while referencing the sirens. Patrick Henry says while we shut our eyes to the blinding truth we “listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beast” (71). In this allusion, he is referring to Britain and its rulers as the sirens. Henry is saying that we listen to their lies and blindly go along with it. This allusion is used to show how foolish the Americans have been in dealing with the British. To further the point of the repulsiveness of the British, Patrick Henry, uses another allusion demonstrating the betrayal of Britain. Patrick Henry uses a biblical allusion by saying “Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss” (71). This allusion references when Jesus was betrayed by one of his own disciples, Judas, with a kiss. Patrick Henry uses this biblical allusion to tell the House of Burgesses not to be gullible and let someone they perceive to be good betray them right in front of their eyes. Drawing in the whole main point of the speech, Patrick Henry
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