Patrick Henry Speech Rhetorical Devices

Decent Essays

The American Revolution was a harsh road of fighting, and the argument was placed in more areas than just the front line. Not every colonist wanted independence from Britain, and this fact contributed to the era of Revolutionary writing. Writers such as Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine wrote articles and speeches to depict the horror of England's tyranny. They believe that freedom and independence would only come from every colonist standing together. The American Revolutionary period had many famous writers; the writers of this time are known for their use of rhetorical devices to convince the colonists that it was time to break free of England's cruelty against them. Notably, Patrick Henry was a patriotic man, therefore he wrote with a passion to convince his fellow colonists that revolution was necessary. He did this specifically through charged words, parallelisms, and rhetorical questions in his speech known as “Speech to the Virginia Convention.” This speech predominately appealed to the audience through his use of pathos or emotional appeal. Patrick Henry’s uses of rhetorical questions arose from his strong belief of England’s inhuman treatment of the colonists. Rhetorical questions used by Patrick Henry draw out emotion, and force the answer that life under British control is equivalent to being enslaved: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?” (Henry). Henry uses charged words to add momentum to his point, and

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