Patrick Henry And How He Was One Of The Best Persuasive Speakers Ever

584 words - 3 pages

As far as great persuasive speakers of American history goes, Patrick Henry was one of the best ever. His speech to the Virginia Convention, otherwise known as his "Liberty or Death" speech, was probably his most famous. But what makes a great persuasive speaker you ask? Well, there are several types of statements you may incorporate into your speech. They are; rhetorical questions, restatement of ideas and the repetition of phrases/words.While making his "Liberty or Death" speech, Patrick Henry made several statements that were in the form of rhetorical questions. Meaning, that he asked a question that had no need to be answered by anyone, or the answer was so obvious that it didn't need ...view middle of the document...

Patrick Henry also uses the restatement of ideas. When he says, There is no retreat" (Henry 104) and "War is inevitable." (Henry 104) When he says this, there are obviously going to be several people with objections. He answers them by stating that all that is left to the people of America is the call to arms and prayers for victory to a god who is on their side. He also goes on to explain how they have already tried all their other options, and they have failed. Now, if they fail in their own defense, then they will be the enslaved subjects of the King. Hence, the opposition towards these statements is silenced.The next type of persuasion that Patrick Henry uses is the repetition of certain words. Several times he repeats the word or phrase he wants emphasized to get the full message across. Such as the time he shouts, " We must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!" (Henry 104) By repeating himself, he not only emphasizes his point, but he also calls up the pent up emotions of the colonial people by standing up against the things they were so frustrated against. And by this point, I seriously doubt there was ANY opposition in the room being voiced at the time towards his speech. However, if there were any, then they are once again given their reason for conforming. Which is another example of parliament's and the kings' tyranny.That is how Patrick Henry persuaded the Virginia Convention to support the going to war with Britain. And it is also how he made the speech with little to no opposition. As soon as any questions arose, overflowing evidence of the British's tyrannical actions immediately put them down.

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