Patrick Henry Speech To The Virginia Convention Rhetorical Analysis

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Rhetorical strategies are a necessity for persuasion. Patrick Henry demonstrates this notion in his speech to the Virginia Convention. Henry’s rhetorical strategies of rhetorical questioning and refuting opposing arguments supports his argument that America must go to war with Britain. One of Henry’s main assertions is that the British are already preparing for war with the colonies. By asking the delegates of the Virginia Convention if “fleets and armies” are “necessary to a work of love and reconciliation,” Henry questions the British’s motives (Henry). Henry’s rhetorical question prompts the audience to believe that the British have no intentions for peace. By pointing out their hostile actions, Henry’s question causes the delegates to rethink their own opinions. In addition to rhetorical questioning, Henry refutes the argument that Great Britain has other enemies in “this quarter of the world” (Henry). By stating that the “accumulation of navies and armies” can only be meant for America, Henry reinstates the…show more content…
By asking if America should “try argument,” Henry offers a useless alternative to war (Henry). Henry’s question makes the audience feel foolish because the delegates have been trying to argue with Britain “for the last ten years” (Henry). By making his opposition feel foolish, Henry successfully puts doubt in the delegates’ minds that the British will try to keep peace. In addition to questioning an alternative to war. Henry asks the delegates if they want to “resort to entreaty and humble supplication” (Henry). By asking if the delegates want to submit to the British, Henry appeals to the audience’s sense of pride. This rhetorical question makes the audience feel angry because it questions their willpower and bravery. Therefore, Henry successfully convinces his audience that war with Britain is
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