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Literary Devices Used In Patrick Henry's Speech

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Patrick Henry Argument Analysis

Throughout Patrick Henry’s speech, he uses many literary devices to convey his thought and opinions to his audience, and with it, he hopes to alter or sway their views on the subject matter. Starting from the very end of Henry's speech, he states “but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”, this now infamous line uses the logical fallacy of false dilemma. This fallacy, also known as either/or, plays to his advantage as it makes the problem seem greater than it actually is by only presenting two extreme options, liberty or death. Another literary device Henry uses in his speech, is ethos, which appeals to the audience's moral or ethical plane. He does this by addressing God, ergo an appeal to his religious portion of the audience, on multiple occasions. Such instances of this occur in
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Also miked in paragraph eleven, he uses repetition when deliberating rhetorical questions (yet another literary device that persuades via asking questions with an obvious answer to emphasize a point) directed at the audience in a show of his reasoning. Those rhetorical and repetitive phrases being, “ Will it be next week? Will it be when we are totally disarmed…? Shall we gather strength… Shall we acquire the means?...”, helping to shove what should be evident, in the viewer's faces. With the same purpose of persuasion, the literary device logos is used as a solely logical and factual form of enticement or argumentation, especially in paragraph 13. He uses this “fact of the matter” when he states that the colonies were a force to be reckoned with, “three millions of people, armed with the holy cause of liberty” to be exact. As has been noted all throughout Patrick Henry’s speech, he uses many devices and fallacies to inform his audience of the facts, explain what said facts mean for the country and people, and to persuade and alert their viewpoints; all of this is done magnificently and famously in his “Give Me
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