The Rhetorical Analysis Of Patrick Henry's Liberty Or Death

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To most people, liberty is a noble cause worth dying for. In 1775 in Richmond, Virginia, Patrick Henry gives a speech, called “Liberty or Death”. In his speech, he claims that the colonies need to take action and fight Britain, or they will suffer endless tyranny. Through his use of emotional appeal, logical appeal, and strong word choice, he illustrates the dire consequences of attempting a peaceful negotiation while Britain prepares for war with them. To develop his claim, Henry uses emotional appeal to reveal the terrible consequences of avoiding war. First, he introduces his claim with strong opinion on the truth: “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it” (para. 2). Through this statement, he introduces to the audience the truth of the situation -- there is no chance of…show more content…
He uses the phrase “bind and rivet” (para. 4) to describe the confinement Britain will enforce on the colonies if they don’t go to war. It emphasizes the slave-like conditions that the colonies will be placed under. The thought of endless submission makes the audience want to prepare for battle, rather than losing everything. Later, he utilizes the phrase “delusive phantom” (para. 8) to describe the current illusion of hope. Hope for peace will get the colonists nowhere now. Hope for peace is simply an affectation. The audience feels the necessity to let go of false hope and prepare for war. Further, he names their goal the “holy cause of liberty” (para. 9). This phrase points out that the freedom they fight for will be supported by God. With the power of the Lord beside them, the holy cause they fight for will come. As a result, the audience will feel more confident in facing the British army to defend their freedom. All in all, Henry is able to effectively support his claim using word

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