Patrick Henry Rhetorical Analysis Paper

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In 1775, during a time of political unrest, Patrick Henry addresses the delegates of the Virginia convention about the "question of freedom or slavery". Through the use of juxtapositions allusions, and metophors, Patrick Henry successfully gains support for the revolutionary cause and the colonial struggle for freedom.

Henry referrs to Juxtapositions to make himself sound more credible, therefore building his ethos as he goes on with his speech. "I should consider myself as guilty of treason toward my country and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven which I revere above all earthly kings." Henry attempts to explain to the delegates that the topic he is about to address is very controzvertial. He makes it clear that some will disagree with the forthcoming conversation, yet proceeds, feeling as if he would be betraying his country and God if he didn't bring the problems that were currently troubling the colonies to the attention of the common man. He therefore established the idea of putting God before the King. The juxtaposition in this quote identifies itself by mentioning "the majesty of heaven" next to "earthly kings", in which he is comparing the priorities of his worship in which King George falls short to the influence and significance of God in Henry's life. The purpose of using this specific example of a Juxtaposition was to show that Henry puts the will of his God before King George, showing a contrast of authority which also appeals to ethos. By claiming himself as "guilty of treason" he is making an, by other means, unacceptable argument acceptable, therefore building trust and support in his thesis.

Allusions play a crucial role in the speech of Patrick Henry, since they significantly aided his credibility to gain support from the delegates of Virginia. "Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss." The patriot attempts to convince the delegates that by listening to him and considoring his proposals that they will be able to...
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