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Patrick Henry Essay

1112 words - 5 pages

Patrick Henry
1. According to Patrick Henry, what is the basic question being debated at the Virginia Convention?
Patrick Henry says it is “nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery.”
2. What reasons does Henry offer to suggest that the British were not worthy of trust at that time?
His main reason was that the British were building a military that he believed was to be used against America.
3. What argument does Henry provide against the notion that the colonies are too weak to fight the British?
He says that God has given America what it needs to fight and that America will win if they use what they have been given. He says that America wants to believe that ...view middle of the document...

Find an example of parallel structuring and repetition in the speech. Explain why this device is effectively placed in the speech.
In the third paragraph, Henry says, “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?” He repeats the first couple words of the sentence to draw attention to the fact that America needs to act now or it will crumble. It is very effectively placed in the passage as it helps explain that America should not believe the rumors that they aren’t strong enough.
8. Allusion is a reference in a speech to a familiar person, place, thing or event. Henry uses two allusions in his speech (they are highlighted in blue).What is the source of each of these allusions?
The first sentence makes an allusion to a siren, a mythical creature known to lure sailors in with their beauty and song. The sentence explains how Britain is luring us into a false sense of security and that we are letting them because we do not want to see the situation for what it really is.
The second sentence is an allusion to the Bible, in which Jesus was asking Judas why he was acting like a friend by kissing him, but in reality he was betraying him. This means that Britain is pretending to be friends with America but is really lowering our walls so that we will not be prepared for an attack.
9. Syntax is the study of sentence structure. Observe the length of the sentences in the first and last paragraphs of the speech. What differences do you find? How do these differences affect the tone of the speech?
Most of the sentences in paragraph one are much longer than the sentences in the last paragraph. The longer sentences are more eloquent and introduce the speech effectively. The shorter ones in the last paragraph are bolder and effectively bring the speech to a close.
10. Diction is an author's word choice, in this case the orator's choice of words. In the third paragraph, Henry uses a string of verbs (highlighted in orange): petitioned, remonstrated, supplicated, implored....

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