Is Your Life Worth Liberty?
How far would you go as to winning your own liberty? Patrick Henry went as far as putting his life on the line to win his liberty. However, in doing so he stood for the representatives as well. Not only did he persuade them by putting his life on the line, he used many other techniques to assist the persuasion. He did so to convince them to go to war with Britain. In the speech of the Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry successfully managed to convince the representatives to go to war against Britain. Several rhetorical devices in his speech such as the use of allusions, imagery, having powerful diction, and appealing to ethos, intrigued and succored his inveiglement to twist the perception of the representatives to inaugurate war.
With the use of allusions, Patrick Henry was capable of consociating with his audience by relinquishing anecdotes and stories known at the time. His first applicability with allusion was with Judas and Jesus, “Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss” (P 264). Patrick Henry was adverting to the biblical story of the kiss Judas used to betray Jesus. He was admonishing the representatives to be wary of the British. Although they seem to be friendly now, they are capable of betraying them at any time. Henry also implements allusion when he elucidates an example from the Odyssey. “…Listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts” (P 263). Henry is insisting that the representatives are just like the sailors from the Odyssey and are being lured in by the British to eventually be massacred into slavery.
The imagery Patrick Henry utilizes in his speech emphasizes the perception he has of commencing war with Britain. In this quote, "Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?" (P. 264), he exemplifies the feelings flowing through the Colonies during that time. Nevertheless, Henry uses imagery to describe the deceitful British government giving the...