What Are The Rhetorical Devices In Patrick Henry's Speech

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Delegate and lawyer Patrick Henry rallies up the other delegates in his "Speech to the Virginia Convention". Henry fills the colonists' minds with imagery and powerful syntax to convince the members to fight in a war later named the American Revolution. His patriotic and zealous speech uses a variety of rhetorical devices to convey this sense of desperation that this is the last hope: to fight. He begins by building his ethos and displays his counterargument. Henry states that the other men of the convention have different views than his but it would be "treason" if he did not speak his proposition. He continues, saying it is the colonists' duty to follow his call to action. He then infers since he is "guided... [by] the lamp of experience" the others should trust his views. Next he builds up the emotion in the room by using imagery and allusions to call to mind the Britain's recent actions. Henry remarks that the colonists' false hopes in the British "will prove a snare to [their] feet." His description that the Americans will be bound by "chains which the British... have been... forging" for a long time is one thing the colonists despise: their rights being stripped of them. He …show more content…

His repetitive questions engage his audience with his words, forcing them to recall each failed attempt at peace. He says they "have held the subject in every light... but it has been all in vain." To further prolong the colonists' failed methods, Henry uses an anaphora that lists each failure and blatantly shows the obviousness of the situation and the desperation that should be felt. He stress how "there is no longer room for hope" which brings together the claim Henry makes that many want to stay away from: to fight. "We must fight!" Henry repeats this several times to highlight the importance it is to fight in a war the British are already

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