Rhetorical Techniques Used In Patrick Henry's Speech

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In 1775, America was under the control of Great Britain. Many people were oblivious to the fact that we were under control, while other people thought it was time to break free and gain independence. Among these people was Patrick Henry, who was a huge advocate for colonial independence. In his speech at the Virginia convention, Patrick Henry argues to forcefully persuade the audience to go to war with Great Britain and pushes for the use of military action by using figurative language, rhetorical devices, and organization, and by confronting them with their current position of danger in the face of the inevitable British invasion. First, one of Patrick Henry's tools to persuade the audience to go to war with Great Britain and push for the…show more content…
Rhetorical devices are used to appeal to the audience and Henry uses them effectively in that way. Henry first uses ethos to appeal to the morals of the audience by saying ,“Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.” Henry is appealing to the religious morals of the audience by using God's power to persuade the audience to think that going to war with Great Britain is the right thing to do. The people are more likely to listen to something when they think God gives them the power to do it than when Henry simply asks for the audience to listen. Another rhetorical device Henry uses is pathos to appeal to the audience's emotions. Henry states, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!” This appeals to emotion by comparing America to being under control of Great Britain like slaves are under control of their masters. When put in this perspective, members of the committee are more likely to realize the extent of what is happening and what needs to happen to stop it from going
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