Rhetorical Techniques Used In Patrick Henry's Speech To The Virginia Convention

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In the “Speech to the Virginia Convention” given by Patrick Henry to the President in 1775, asserts that the colonists should not be trying to negotiate with the British. His purpose was to convince the audience that they should not be trying to befriend the people of Great Britain rather that they should make Great Britain their foe. Henry uses his speech to appeal to both the President and the colonist through the use of figurative language, tone, and syntax. Patrick Henry’s use of diction, a persuasive and forceful tone, appeal to ethos and pathos, as well as various syntactical elements in his “Speech to the Virginia Convention” shows that the colonists should be fighting to break away from the British monarchy rather than negotiate terms to try and stay under their clutches. In the speech, Patrick Henry’s careful …show more content…

He goes throughout his entire speech asking a plethora of questions such as “Have we anything new to offer to the subject?” By the constant use of rhetorical questions, it allows the audience the opportunity to formulate their own answers. However, Henry quickly debunks their answers with the use of short, declarative statements. “Nothing.” He leaves no room for argument. He forces the audience to accept what he is saying as the truth. “We must fight!” a short exclamatory sentence which creates a sense of urgency into the audience. As the speech reaches its climax, and the excitement and energy that Henry has placed into the audience, they are now convinced and ready to charge into battle against the British. Patrick Henry’s “Speech to the Virginia Convention” was a call to arms to the colonist against the British during the 1700’s. Through the use of diction, tone, appeal to ethos and pathos, and various syntactical elements, he is able to evoke emotions and energy into the audience and persuade them into going up against their mother

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