Patrick Henry Speech Analysis

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Emotion in Motion March 23rd, 1775, this monumental day will forever be marked by Patrick Henry’s “Speech to the Virginia Convention”. This speech entailed a rally cry, a call to encourage the colonists to participate in a war to save their home land from Britain and their taxes without representation. During this time period was an enlightenment era based around science, religion was set on a back burner. Britain was cutting of and taxing the colonists an improper amount. The intolerable acts are what sparked the colonist’s resentment towards Britain, with biased taxes and unfair regulations. Patrick Henry’s empowering rhetoric in his “Speech to the Virginia Convention” uses an abundance of pathos to persuade and emotionally charge the colonists …show more content…

The use of pathos during Henry’s speech is intense and concentrated on words about or pertaining to slavery. Henry compares the colonists to Britain’s slaves multiple times, inducing an emotional uproar, “Our enemies shall have us bound hand and foot,” in “There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains have been forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!” and lastly in “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?” (Henry 104). Patrick Henry has his audience wrapped around his finger by his incredible use of loaded words, imagery, and fear tactics. The words ‘bound’, ‘chains’, ‘slavery’, ‘clanking’, and ‘peace’ all have a fierce and intense connotation attached to them, making the audience feel attacked and bound by Britain’s aggressive taxing and restriction on their moral rights. At the end of Patrick Henry’s stupefying speech he gives one final sentence to seal his impactful message. Once his points have been established he declares his stance on the fiasco with Britain “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” (Henry 104). His last words carried intense emotional weight; it is shown clearly that Patrick Henry will not stand for the injustice Britain is trying to institute. When the colonists are exposed to his brazened speech, it hits all of the

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