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Patrick Henry's Use Of Logos, Ethos And Pathos In His Speech To The Va Convention

939 words - 4 pages

Almost 2500 years ago Aristotle was born, he was born into a wealthy educated family in Greece. He was a student of the famed Plato (another Greek philosopher) and went on to make many great discoveries and theories. One of Aristotle's greatest teachings was in the art of rhetoric. Aristotle said that to be persuasive in ones arguments that one must establish credibility (ethos) use logical argument (logos), and appeal to the audience on an emotional level (pathos). Twenty two hundred years later a young statesman named Patrick Henry would exemplify these three techniques to near perfect use, in his speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses.Henry starts the speech out with a series of ...view middle of the document...

Examples of his effective appeal to the logos include statements such as the statement about all of the British troops coming to the colonies. He says " they are meant for us; they can be meant for no other" this is putting logic into play refuting what the parliament had been saying about the reason behind the troop shipments. Later on in Henrys speech he asks questions to the audience. This is an extremely effective rhetorical technique because it is making the audience ask themselves if they believe his logic. By supporting his intensely emotional speech with an appeal to the audiences sense of logic Henry makes his arguments even more persuasive.As far as which appeal is the most effective to the average listener to any persuasive work, most will agree that the appeal to the emotional senses is the most effective and the most widely felt. Through the speech Henry uses numerous appeals to sway his listeners that he is correct in believing that declaring independence is imperative to the success of the colony of Virginia. In the opening paragraph Henry states, " I consider it nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery." By it he is referring to declaring independence, and thus creating an appeal to the emotions by saying that fight for independence, or be subjected to slavery. In the concluding sentence Henry talks about the troops that have been sent over. He goes on to make a metaphor about how these troops are the chains that have been sent over to bind us. This creates an appeal because it again conjures the...

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