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Patrick Henry Speech in the Virginia Convention

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1 Patrick Henry Speech in the Virginia Convention
Lin Liu Tia Keitt

2 What exactly is a speech?
A nonfiction work that is delivered orally to an audience. Some speeches are composed in writing before they are spoken aloud. Others are composed more informally as they are presented, usually from notes.

3 Patrick Henry ( ) Patrick could move his listeners to anger, fear, or laughter. He was remembered most for “Give me liberty or give me death”. Considered to be the most powerful orator of American Revolution. Helped inspire colonists to unite in an effort to win their independence from Britain. Elected to Virginia House of Burgesses in 1765. He made one of the most powerful speeches about the Stamp Act shortly after his election. In the end the Virginia House adopted Henry’s Resolution after the protest of people.

4 Background Delivered in 1775
Denounces the British kind and urges the colonists to fight for independence The odds against the colonists were overwhelming Henry could have been executed for treason if they failed to win independence


6 Types of speeches Political speech Address Sermon
The “Speech in the Virginia Convention” is considered to be a political speech. A political speech is a speech about an issue relating to government or politics. Usually the speaker tries to persuade people to think or act in a certain way. During the Revolutionary War period, leaders such as Patrick Henry gave inspiring and persuasive political speeches.

7 Persuasive Techniques
Many speeches are examples of persuasion- speech or writing that tries to get the audience to think or act in a certain way. Persuasive techniques are the methods that a speaker or writer uses to appeal to the audience. Most speeches use a mixture of persuasive appeals. 3 types -logical appeal -emotional appeal -ethical appeal This speech uses all of the appeals

8 Rhetorical Devices Effective speeches typically include rhetorical devices- special patterns of words and ideas that create emphasis and stir the audience’s emotions - repetition - restatement - parallelism - anatithesis - rhetorical questions

9 Examples of Persuasive Techniques and Rhetorical Devices
Logical appeal- builds a well-reasoned argument based on evidence, such as facts, statistics, or expert testimony. Ex. “But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve”(Henry, 203).

10 Cont… Antithesis- using strongly contrasting word, images, or ideas.
Ethical appeal- directed at the audience’s sense of morality or values. This type of appeal is often linked to the audience’s perception of the trustworthiness and moral character of the speaker or writer. Ex. “Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings” (Henry, 203)

11 Cont… Rhetorical questions- asking questions with obvious answers.
Emotional appeal- attempts to arouse the audience’s feelings, ofter by using rhetorical devices that evoke an emotional response or loaded words that convey strong positive or negative connotations. Ex. “Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these warlike preparations… to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies?”(Henry, 204) Ex. “Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted?”(Hanry’ 204)

12 Cont… Repetition- restating an idea using the same words
Ex. “and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight? I repeat it, sir, we must fight!” (Henry, 205)

13 Cont… Parallelism- repeating a grammatical structure
Ex. “We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament”(Henry, 204)

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