Speech to the Virginia Analysis

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Jorge Sanchez
Junior Ap English
05, October 2012
Speech to the Virginia Analysis
In the Speech to the Virginia Convention given by Patrick Henry he displays his deep understanding of rhetoric in a very persuasive speech. Patrick Henry uses ethos, allusions, and syntax as elements of persuasion in his speech. Patrick Henry begins his persuasive speech with a couple examples of ethos in his first two sentences. “Mr. President: No ma thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House.” In this quote, Patrick Henry is building up his credibility by, explaining that he is as much of a patriot as anyone; as well admirer of the very intelligent men who have spoke prior than him. Patrick Henry is demonstrating that he acknowledges and understands the opposition’s views so that when he contradicts them his points are valid. “But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not to be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.” After commencing the speech by flattering the audience, he goes on to state that he does not agree with them, and in his opinion they’re mistaken. Patrick Henry initiated his speech using ethos so that the audience understands that he is credible, and his arguments are valid. Patrick Henry uses allusions to explain to his audience what is happening, as well as what the consequences were, and will be. “We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts.” This allusion refers to Greek Mythology where the siren’s seductive song would lure sailors to wreck their boats on coastal rocks. Henry compares this allusion to the issue at hand which is whether to see past the British’s poor treatment of...
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