Patrick Henry Persuasive Speech

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Throughout history, rhetoric has been used by great orators to persuade a people to believe one thing or take action on another. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, proved that a respectable argument must use ethos, pathos, and logos. Patrick Henry’s “give me liberty” speech is well known to have inspired many people to take up arms against the British and start the American Revolution. He used ethos by proving he would die for his country, saying “give me liberty or give me death,” pathos by explaining how poorly America is treated and how they are seen as inferiors, and also logos by stating all the atrocities Britain had done to America (“Patrick”). These same values must be applied in modern debate to vanquish the other side, and it is in these…show more content…
Ethos, or asserting credibility of the speaker, is an important tool in order to gain the judges trust and respect of the words spoken. Hillary Clinton currently has a poor credible record because of the email scandal, and as a result many voters feel less inclined to vote for her (O’Harrow). In a casual high school debate, ethos may be obtained by receiving good grades or having several reputable sources. Pathos is procured using less evidence, but still reaching out to the heart of the judge. Martin Luther King Jr's famous “I Have a Dream” speech became a turning point in equality for American people. His use of pathos, such as saying “the millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice,” made people realize how unjust their treatment was of the African-American population (Eidenmuller). As for logos, logos uses logic in order to persuade the judge to believe a certain statement is true. For instance, many of the presidential debates in 2016 use logos in order to persuade the audience (Lee). The candidates often speak of the economic and societal consequences of a certain proposed tax or bill. Although ethos, pathos, and logos have historically been used in the greatest of speeches, it is these same principles which also lead to a triumphant
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