Revolutionary Period

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AnaMaria Impastato
Honors English 11, period 2
12/11/12
The Revolutionary Period Essay

Take A Stand
Thomas Paine once said, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.” (134) An aphorism that he used in “The Crisis No.1” to reinforce the established truth that freedom isn’t always free. Patrick Henry’s speech in the “Second Virginia convention,” Thomas Paine’s “The Crisis No.1,” and Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence that include elements and rhetorical devices such as rhetorical questions, aphorisms, analogy, and logical structure reflect classicism, a philosophy which emphasized reason, logical structure, clarity, and self control. The first examples of Classicism can be found embedded throughout Patrick Henry’s speech in the “Second Virginia Convention.” He utilizes persuasive techniques like rhetorical questions with obvious answers to further emphasize that the actions of the British were vile, corrupt, and unjust. A good example of this is shown when Henry asks, “Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation?”(117) The obvious answer to Henry’s question is no, those are elements of war and though their enemy may promise reconciliation this would only be another lie added to the king’s list. Resolution is not the intent of someone who is power struck. Henry also asks, “Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?” (118) “When will we be stronger, will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?”(118) By using rhetorical questions Henry is making every county man think about what is to become of them, either to fight for freedom or be forever under the British stronghold. Furthermore, Thomas Paine also takes part in the road to independence by writing down his thoughts in “The Crisis No. 1.” And by using elements such as aphorisms and analogies Paine seems to connect with his readers on an...
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