Persuasion In Patrick Henry's Speech

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Persuasion is the act of convincing an individual or a group of people to go toward a specific cause. In Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech, one sees many of the rhetorical techniques Patrick Henry utilized to convey his message. Henry’s development of allusions, repetition, and emotional appeals evoked the members of the Virginia Convention to revolt against the British monarchy.
Allusions were a major component in Patrick Henry’s speech that helped get his idea of revolting across to his audience. The colonists were frustrated with the British during this time, and Henry felt as if they were “betrayed by a kiss.” This kiss alluded to the kiss Jesus received from Judas, the disciple who betrayed him. The colonial
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Henry asked the audience, “will it be when… a British guard shall be stationed in every house,” which reminded the colonists of the Quartering Acts. These acts had angered the colonials a lot because they had to house soldiers, and the soldiers disrupted their family life. As a result of this act, the people got even angrier at the British. Later on in his speech, Henry stated his most famous line, “Give me liberty or give me death.” This line was said at the end of the speech to leave a bold statement. Patrick Henry did this to achieve his goal of motivating the people to revolt rather than to sit and listen to the British laws. This sentence was placed last in the speech because of the emotional power it had. Also, most people remember the last lines of a speech, and as a result of this line, the audience was angered and had a strong need to revolt, which therefore achieved Henry’s purpose of getting the people to revolt.
In conclusion, repetition, emotional appeals, and allusions were ways Henry described his message. Patrick Henry used these rhetorical strategies to make the colonists revolt against the British. In the end, his attempts worked and the people took up arms and fought for their freedom. Henry’s effective and skilled manipulation of persuasive techniques empowered the colonists, resulting in a fight for independence and eventually
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