Page 1 of 3

Patrick Henry's Use of Logos, Ethos and Pathos in His speech to t...

Continues for 2 more pages »
Read full document

Patrick Henry's Use of Logos, Ethos and Pathos in His speech to the VA convention

Page 1 of 3
Almost 2500 years ago Aristotle was born, he was born into a wealthy educated family in Greece. He was a student of the famed Plato (another Greek philosopher) and went on to make many great discoveries and theories. One of Aristotle's greatest teachings was in the art of rhetoric. Aristotle said that to be persuasive in ones arguments that one must establish credibility (ethos) use logical argument (logos), and appeal to the audience on an emotional level (pathos). Twenty two hundred years later a young statesman named Patrick Henry would exemplify these three techniques to near perfect use, in his speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses.

Henry starts the speech out with a series of declaratory sentences, one of the most notable being "different men often see the same subjects in different lights" His word choice is especially important because he is establishing his credibility by using the word "lights" she is making a reference to the Devine spiritual illumination. He uses this method of establishing credibility through the speech. By placing god in the speech he creates the allusion that he is doing the work of the Devine. He next talks about listening to the sound of the siren till it transforms us into beasts. This also creates an appeal to ethos by using a mythological allusion to homers Oddesy. These are a few of the examples of appeals to ethos that Henry uses in his speech to the Virginia convention.

More examples of his appeal to the ethos are not what Henry states directly but what how he says the things that he does. The word choice and structure of the sentences is adds to the already persuasive content of the speech. This is also categorized as an appeal to the ethos because it is establishing credibility that the speaker has vast knowledge and command of the language.

As some philosophers say it is dangerous to try and rationalize emotions. Henry speaks with great emotion but also makes logical arguments, legitimizing the points that...