Patrick Henry “Speech to the Virginia Convention” Mountain Pointe High School Honors Juniors
Patrick Henry • Born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1736 • Homeschooled because of rural location • Experienced “The Great Awakening” and • listened to John Edwards’ sermons • Tried farming and merchant life, but failed • Discovers a love for oratory (public speaking)
Adult Life • Obtained law license in 1760 • He argued that a king who would veto a law passed by a locally elected legislature was, “…a tyrant who forfeits the allegiance of his subjects." • This was the beginning of his struggle to ensure independence for the 13 Colonies.
Patrick Henry • Elected to Virginia House of Burgesses • Wrote numerous speeches throughout his lifetime • His most famous speech ended with the words, "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
What to know about Patrick Henry • Patrick Henry’s “Speech in the Virginia Convention” played a key role in turning colonial ideas against negotiation with England and toward armed rebellion.
One month after Patrick Henry gave his speech in Virginia, the British marched on Concord, which would be the beginning of the American Revolution. Patrick Henry went against several of the Virginian statesmen to make his point with his speech. He stood up for what he believed in, and would not back down until his point was heard.
Patrick Henry Patrick Henry’s beliefs that colonists should pull away from British rule, and create their own country based on their own beliefs were expressed in his speech. This is dangerous because at this time, Britain is the world power. He is taking on an entire country with his speech.
Henry’s Persuasive Method • As we read and listen, he begins with a respectful rebuttal of previous speeches thereby establishing confidence with the audience (ethos) • But towards the end, his tone intensifies thus heightening the climax of the speech (pathos).
Persuasion causes the audience to want to take a specific action : • He establishes that the British are preparing for war by asserting that the war has already begun. (logos—facts) • He reminds the House that King George has been ignoring their pleas for relief from the “Intolerable Acts” (logos—facts) • Thus, he dismisses any thoughts for peaceful compliance. (logos—reasoning)
What is Oratory? • A form of public speaking • A qualified speaker • Speeches include these persuasive techniques for emphasis: • Rhetorical questions • Restatement • Repetition • Parallelism • Exclamation
Patrick henry • Finally, he uses his words to persuade the statesmen and readers to fight for what they believe in, and to not give in to the British. • Ethos – refers to the trustworthiness or credibility of the writer or speaker (Greek for character) • Things that inspire trust/goodness • Pathos – is often associated with emotional appeal. (Greek for suffering or experience) • Bandwagon Appeal • Fear Tactics • Loaded Words • Logos - refers to the internal consistency of the message--the clarity of the claim, the logic of its reasons, and the effectiveness of its supporting evidence. (Greek for word) • Either/or • Hasty Generalization • Rhetorical Questions • Circular Reasoning
Ethos • Form of persuasion that appeals to the audience’s sense of what is morally just, or right. By appealing to a just God, he creates a connection between himself and his audience by appealing to a shared value. • “Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”
Pathos • He uses loaded words to add to his point Examples of Loaded or Charged Words: justice insidious sentiments arduous beseech subjugation honor vigilant supplicated slavery prostrate spurned
LOGOS • Henry lists facts that have recently occurred: • “It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope”—previous congressmen have expressed hope of relief in negotiation—not war. • “Is it that insidious smile that our petition has been lately received?” --British Parliament has ignored their petitions for less taxes. • “Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation?” -- More and more British troops are arriving every day.
Rhetorical Questions • Rhetorical question/questionsare the questions the speaker asks the audience. However, the audience internalizes the answer. Nothing is answered orally. • “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”
Restatement • Restatement is stating the same idea in different words. • “Trust it not!” • “Let us not deceive ourselves!” • They are meant for us, sir—they can be meant for no other!”
Repetition • Repetition is repeating the exact same words over again. • “…we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!”
Parallelism • Parallelism refers to the repeated use of phrases, clauses, or sentences that are similar in structure or meaning. • Writers use this technique to emphasize important ideas, create rhythm, and make their writing more forceful and direct.
Understanding Parallelsim • Faulty Parallelism “For my own part, what ever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth: to knowthe worst and I will provide for it.” • Effective Parallelism “For my own part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth;toknowthe worst, and to providefor it.
Liberty or Death http://www.biography.com/people/patrick-henry-9335512/videos/patrick-henry-liberty-or-death-2080075882