Use of Rhetorical Devices

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Use Of Rhetorical Devices Patrick Henry used rhetorical devices to persuade the Virginia Representatives to go against Britain. He utilized rhetorical questions, allusions, logos, and tone to affect the listeners in the speech to the Virginia Convention in 1775 respectively. To achieve his purposes to face Britain he used rhetorical questions to emphasize on the point and make people think. Additionally the tone helps show attitude from respect to the listeners to serious hopelessness about The King of Britain and gaining peace he also wanted to show how serious he was about liberty and freedom. Rhetorical questions are used to leave the reader/listener thinking about the point trying to be made. For example Patrick Henry asked “are we disposed to be of the number of those who having eyes, see not, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation,” Henry uses a biblical allusion to create an appeal to ethos and pathos. He is comparing the colonist who can’t see or hear the truth about what the British are doing to those in the bible who lost their spiritual salvation to temporal salvation which means that the colonist will not be free which equates with death. He is comparing god’s truths to the need to fight for their freedom. He also ask “shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?...are fleets and armies necessary to a work go love and reconciliation?” Henry asks these questions hoping to elicit strong emotions in the audience that work them in favor of his argument. Henry also used allusions to help the reader visualize what’s happening by evoking a mental picture for example when he says “listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beast” he is metaphorically comparing how the British are saying things to the colonist which are promising false hope to how the circle in Homer’s Odyssey
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