What Is Patrick Henry Persuasive Speech

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Patrick Henry, a successful Virginian delegate, spoke to fellow Virginia delegates in late March of 1775. Ultimately, his objective was to persuade delegates, especially those against war, that the only option was to fight against Great Britain for independence. By illustrating how a lack of action would result in the colonists practically being Britain’s slaves, he began to turn the people's’ minds towards his idea of pursuing war. Henry uses emotional appeal to persuade his audience, and an exceptional example of this is his famous quote: “Give me liberty or give me death!”. Henry’s use of rhetorical devices as means of persuasion were the key aspects of his speech and helped convince the colonists to fight back. During the speech, Henry immediately has the brilliant idea to appeal to the delegates that are still against going to war with Britain. Patrick Henry flatters his audience as he begins his speech. His use of neutral wording encourages the audience to hear him out through the rest of the speech. By acknowledging that there are other sides to this argument, the delegates are more inclined to hear him out after he says this quotation: “...of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House”(Henry).…show more content…
He explains how it is only human to fall victim to the mirage of hope: “...it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope”(Henry). Adding on to the statement that the colonists should not become entranced in a perfect reality, Henry continues by explaining that one can only use their prior knowledge to guide them throughout future events: “I know of no way of judging the future but by the past”(Henry). This use of pathos is evident throughout because it makes the audience feel naive and encourages them to make more educated predictions for the
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