In “Speech in the Virginia Convention,” Patrick Henry uses persuasive devices; specifically rhetorical questions and repetition, in order to persuade his audience to fight against the British and influence them through pathos, logos, and ethos. To begin, he is able to influence the people of the colonies to fight against the monarch in Great Britain by using rhetorical questions. This quote shows the use of rhetorical questions by using logos in his persuasive speech, “ Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new on the subject?” (Henry 204). Patrick Henry is trying to persuade the president to stand up to King George III by reminding him of their previous efforts to rebel against the English. Henry makes a logical point by saying that they have tried to stop them peacefully for ten years, but nothing is working. This helps to convince his audience because they begin to realize that they have exhausted every effort except fighting, which is what Henry is proposing. Next, Henry uses rhetorical questions by saying, “But when shall we be stronger? Shall it be next week or next year?” and he does this through appealing to the audience’s logic (204). In this context, he is telling his audience that now is the time to fight. He attempts to convince the crowd by saying that waiting will just make them weaker. This is a logical way of thinking because Henry is saying that doing it right now will benefit the people more. In conclusion, Patrick Henry uses rhetorical questions in order to persuade his audience to aid his cause in fighting against King George III.
Additionally, Patrick Henry uses repetition throughout his speech to convince his listeners to battle against King George III, so that the colonist can win their independence. When Patrick Henry says, “ the war is inevitable––and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!”, he is using repetition in order to get his point across and for people to be more likely to remember what he says (205). When Henry says this, he is telling the people that the war is going to happen no matter how long everyone tries to push it back. He is addressing the president in this section when he says sir. This can bring a sense of respect which is appealing to ethos. People will be convinced by this rhetorical device because it states a logical fact that war is coming and uses ethos by saying sir and addressing the president. Rhetorical questions and repetition are used in “Speech in Virginia Convention” by Patrick Henry to coax his crowd into wanting to fight for their independence with their lives.