Rhetorical Analysis Of Patrick Henry's Speech In The Virginia Convention

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Under the control of the British Parliament in 1775, the American colonies consider going to war in order to gain independence from Britain. In “Patrick Henry’s Speech in the Virginia Convention,” Henry addresses the need for American colonists to work together to stop the British from controlling them. Thus, Henry’s periodic sentence, rhetorical questions, antithesis, and anaphora successfully convince the American colonists to unite against the British and to bring awareness to their wrongdoings. Firstly, Henry applies periodic sentences and rhetorical questions to convey the idea that the American Colonists must fight back against the British by working together if they want to gain freedom. Henry believes that “if [they] wish to …show more content…

He tells the colonists that the British Parliament usually responds to the “gracious reception of [their] petition comforts with [] war-like preparations.” Henry contrasts the colonists’ petition to the British’s warmongering. Henry’s antithesis makes the colonists recognize the difference between their polite approach and the British's aggressive response. Therefore, he gives the colonists more reasons to question the negative actions being enacted by the British. He highlights Britain’s inability to compromise since they respond to any threats with violence. Additionally, Henry asserts that “[they] have petitioned; [they] have remonstrated; [they] have supplicated; [they] have prostrated [themselves] before the throne” to “avert the storm” of the upcoming war. Henry’s appliance of anaphora with “we” at the beginning of subsequent clauses emphasizes that the colonists have done much to avoid any violent outcome with the British. He notes that the colonists are trying to resolve problems while Britain is only “produc[ing] additional violence and insult.” Hence, Henry underscores Britain’s neglect of possible solutions and their inclination for violence. In essence, Henry’s clever use of various rhetorical strategies persuades the colonies to achieve their freedom from Britain. He motivates them by pointing out how the British have maltreated the Colonists. Therefore,

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