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Speech to the Virginia Convention Patrick Henry (1736-1799)

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1 Speech to the Virginia Convention Patrick Henry (1736-1799)

2 Burgess representative from Virginia Known as the most famous persuasive speaker from the Colonial time period Greatly protested Britain’s increasing demands Patrick Henry

3 House of Burgesses? The first representative- based government group in the American Colonies. The first time they were allowed to make legislative decisions without the King.

4 Passed legislation that went to “governor” Burgess: a representative from the group—usu. rich landowners Famous Delegates: Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson

5 Virginia Convention: March 20, 1775 British “Intolerable Acts” had been instated Organized by the Virginia House of Burgesses George Washington and Thomas Jefferson attended Purpose: To decide what to do about Britain’s increasing pressures

6 Patrick Henry Speaks! “Liberty or death” speech: –Delivered to persuade the delegates of the Virginia Convention to go to war with England. –Forget negotiation! We’re going to war! –Several speakers had gone before Henry in favor of compromise with England.

7 Patrick Henry’s speech worked! He persuaded the Convention They voted to go to war with England His resolution only passed by 5 votes! We were 5 votes from remaining a British Colony!

8 Hence, the Revolutionary War… April 19, 1775 (one month from the day of Henry’s speech), the Revolutionary War began at the Battle of Lexington.

9 Logos (appeal to logic): Definition Uses factual or potentially factual reasoning to establish the validity of a proposed argument. “head” reasoning

10 Pathos (appeal to emotions): Definition Seeks to stir feelings. Relies on “charged” words (those that spark emotion) to evoke emotion toward the intended result. “heart” feeling

11 Ethos (appeal to ethics/credibility): Definition The author’s strategies used to build credibility, validity, or “believability.” If we don’t believe an author has a valid point, we won’t care to listen. This is done by citing clear evidence, being fair in one’s approach, considering multiple aspects of a situation, citing first-hand data, and being professional or perhaps even passionate in demeanor.

12 Metaphor: Definition Figure of speech that makes a comparison between two unlike things. Direct: “Fame is a fee”—the comparison is stated Indirect: “The road not taken”—you have to figure the comparison out.

13 Metaphors: Persuasive Value Provide stories that are easy to relate to Show potential outcomes by telling the end of a similar story Easy to remember Reduce complexity of problems and get at the heart of the matter

14 Rhetorical Questions: Definition Questions asked for effect. Often used in persuasion They presume the audience knows the answer the speaker is looking for, so no answer is expected or required.

15 Rhetorical Questions: Persuasive Value Get the whole group silently agreeing Make the group feel like they are coming up with the answers, not being told what to do to Make the answers feel obvious, thus the outcome feels obvious

16 Allusions: Definition References to someone or something that is culturally well-known Can be from history, literature, religion, politics, sports, science, art, or some other branch of culture They only work if you are part of the audience

17 Allusions: Persuasive Value Work a lot like metaphors Simple, easy-to-relate-to stories So much said in so few words…they carry a whole meaning/story/understanding without having to go into detail Simple, easy-to-relate-to stories So much said in so few words…they carry a whole meaning/story/understanding without having to go into detail

18 Antithesis: Definition A statement that reveals two opposing ideas in order to show a balanced contrast of ideas.

19 Antithesis: Persuasive Value Antithesis allows opposites to exist side-by- side to show extremes and to make the audience feel as if those are the only two options. When options are limited, they are often easier to select.

20 Parallel Structure: Definition Sentences that are structured in the same way in order to emphasize their content. Often, actual words are repeated One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!

21 Parallel Structure: Persuasive Value Parallel structure helps the audience pay close attention to the items that are listed/presented in the same format. It is a tool that amplifies the items presented in parallel structure.

22 The Speech speech speech To hear the speech: –Scroll UP a tiny bit from where the above link takes you –Click on the podcast “play” button for the “listen to the full speech (7:05)” To hear the commentary: –Right click on “Liberty or Death” link in the “Podcasts” box –Click on “open in a new tab” –It will begin to play

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