Rhetorical Analysis Of Patrick Henry's Speech To The Virginia Convention

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“Give me liberty or give me death!” (72). These are the famous words Patrick Henry delivered to the delegates of Virginia in 1775. As times of war were quickly approaching the colonies, Henry gave this speech to the Virginia Convention, urging the delegates to fight against Britain. These passionate words continue to ring over the United States today, now a free nation partially due to his patriotic speech. How was Henry able to persuade the delegates on such a controversial topic at the time? With the use of repetition, metaphors, and rhetorical questions, Henry is able to create the persuasive piece of literature, Speech in the Virginia Convention, that not only changed the views of the delegates in 1775, but changed the future of America. Repetition is often used in oral literature to emphasize key or important points. Since this piece was originally spoken as a speech to the delegates, Henry uses repetition throughout it. His most obvious use of repetition is when he states “we must fight! I repeat is, sir, we must fight!” (72). This not only emphasizes his main point of the speech, but…show more content…
Henry uses multiple metaphors in his speech to show that he is an intelligent and well educated man, therefore, his opinion should be held to a higher standard. For example, he uses the metaphors “I have one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience,” and the metaphor about “listening to the song of that siren,” to show that he is an educated man with a valuable opinion (71). Henry uses metaphors in other ways too, such as the metaphor “we have done everything to avert the oncoming storm,” (72). This metaphor is used to show the ferocity of Britain by comparing it to a storm. Henry uses this to convince delegates that a war with Britain is unavoidable, and that they might as well fight in it. Henry uses a similar metaphor of “hugging the delusive phantom of hope,” to convey the same message
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