Patrick Henry

March 27, 2018
By isabellabrown BRONZE, Metairie, Louisiana
isabellabrown BRONZE, Metairie, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

In Patrick Henry’s “Speech in the Virginia Convention,” Henry utilizes the persuasive techniques of repetition and rhetorical question to appeal to the colonists ethos, logos, and pathos and to convince them to separate from England and King George III. The first persuasive technique that Patrick Henry utilizes in his speech to encourage rebellion is repetition. One example of repetition in his speech is this quote “I repeat it, sir, we must fight” (Henry 203). In this quote, Henry repeats himself by saying “we must fight” continuously trying to persuade the colonists. By repeating and putting emphasis on the same statement multiple times, Henry is making sure that the colonists are continually hearing the same idea which will make it more likely that the people listening will remember it better. This quote also appeals to the people’s pathos, or emotional appeal, which fires them up and makes them want to revolt. Another example of repetition is when Henry says, “The war is inevitable - and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!” (205).  He repeats himself to increase emphasis and to use pathos as an appeal for the colonists. This quote is also aimed to make the colonists realize that they cannot idly sit by while the British rule over them. In the “Speech in the Virginia Convention”, Patrick Henry uses repetition to hold the colonists attention and put more emphasis on the ideas that he feels important to pass to them.


The second persuasive technique that Patrick Henry uses in his speech to encourage revolution is rhetorical question. His statement “Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?” is a perfect example of rhetorical question (Henry 204). This quote shows how Henry used rhetorical questions to appeal to the colonists logos, or logical appeals, and to make the colonists really ponder the question that he was posing. Another example of rhetorical question is when Henry states “Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?” (Henry 204). By asking this question, Henry is making the colonists question their decisions and trying to convince them that revolt is the only thing they can do. He also uses this question to appeal to the colonists’ logos, or logical appeals. This statement makes the colonist question the rationality of their decision to try to stay peaceful with the British rather than launch a revolution. Patrick Henry uses the persuasive techniques rhetorical questions and repetition in his speech “Speech in the Virginia Convention” to appeal to the colonists ethos, logos, and pathos and to convince them to fight for rebellion against the British.



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