Inspiration in Speech

April 18, 2018
By Anonymous

In Speech in the Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry used restatement and repetition in order to make his speech compelling and persuasive. The rhetorical device of restatement makes the ideas Henry talks about more memorable and significant. Henry appealed to the men’s pathos by stating, “No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House.”(Henry).  By overusing the word “gentlemen” in this speech, Henry stirs an emotional response which gives them respect and hopes to gain their respect back.  In this restatement, Henry sheds light on the sad reality that these men faced. By Henry giving these men respect, Henry drew on the lack of esteem they were given by their mother country. Henry, in making this claim, hopes that this lack of respect will be enough to urge the men to fight. Henry also uses restatement by emphasizing on the idea of slavery. By stating that, “For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate.”(Henry). Henry draws on his belief that the people of America were being held as slaves and had no freedom to make their own decisions. By making this statement, Henry appeals to the audience’s ethos, or ethics, by reasoning that the people of America must fight for their God-given right of liberty and freedom from an oppressive country. Henry successfully convinces the people to fight by calling on the ethical issue of slavery and its restraints. Overall restatement is successfully used in this speech by showing the importance and steps needed to be taken to obtain freedom.


By using the device repetition and repeating ideas over and over again, Henry makes persuasive arguments as to why the men must fight for their independence. To once again give the people inspiration, Henry states that, “We must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!”(Henry). Henry draws on the audience’s logo, or logic, by giving them the choice between freedom and slavery, and the logical answer, liberty. In the repetition of fighting for their beliefs, Henry shows the people that they were “choosing” to be oppressed in a way only a slave and his master would. He also says that while lives may be lost in war, that the possibility of liberation would be worth death.  Another use of repetition in Speech in the Virginia Convention was the idea that war is inevitable and they must embrace it. By stating that, “The war is inevitable—and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!” Henry hopes to call on the audience’s ethics by stating that it is their responsibility to free themselves from the shackles of ill-treatment by England. Also Henry also inspired the people to fight for what they believe in and possibly dying for the greater good and emancipation of others. In conclusion, Patrick Henry uses repetition and restatement to motivate the people of America to fight for their beliefs and to be free from their tyrannical mother country.



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