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Patrick Henry's Famous Speech

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Patrick Henry's Famous Speech


'Give me liberty or give me death.' These famous words were uttered by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775, as a conclusion to his speech delivered to the Virginia House of Burgesses. Within his speech, he uses the three rhetorical appeals (ethos, logos, and pathos) to convey a feeling of urgency toward the changes occurring in policy within the Americas implemented by the British government. He cleverly uses these appeals to disrupt the paradigm that Great Britain is going to let the American people have any liberty.

The Purpose of this speech is to gain support for a freedom movement from the British government. One can see this when he states, ?Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies?? He is speaking about Great Britain bringing their military to the Americas. This tells the people he is speaking to, ?[England has] chains which the British ministry have been so long forging.? He brings up this in his argument to bring to light the liberties that have been slowly pulled away from the people living in the Americas.

Within his speech, and by looking at his diction and word choice, one could derive he is talking to an upper class group of men. He continually uses the word ?gentlemen.? His statement ?the worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House? makes it sound as if he is in a meeting of elected officials and decision makers.

During the first ...


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