Patrick henry and how he was one of the best persuasive speakers ever

Essay by okctyboiHigh School, 11th grade March 2004

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

Downloaded 40 times

As far as great persuasive speakers of American history goes, Patrick Henry was one of the best ever. His speech to the Virginia Convention, otherwise known as his "Liberty or Death" speech, was probably his most famous. But what makes a great persuasive speaker you ask? Well, there are several types of statements you may incorporate into your speech. They are; rhetorical questions, restatement of ideas and the repetition of phrases/words.

While making his "Liberty or Death" speech, Patrick Henry made several statements that were in the form of rhetorical questions. Meaning, that he asked a question that had no need to be answered by anyone, or the answer was so obvious that it didn't need explaining. During this speech, he says, "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?" (Henry 104) Well, obviously, everyone knows they would rather not be in slavery.

Thus the question was rhetorical. It also would answer any other questions that might arise to that part of the speech. He shows through a verbal example how if they allow the British to continue invading, then the British will soon enslave them all with the chains of subjection.

Patrick Henry also uses the restatement of ideas. When he says, There is no retreat" (Henry 104) and "War is inevitable." (Henry 104) When he says this, there are obviously going to be several people with objections. He answers them by stating that all that is left to the people of America is the call to arms and prayers for victory to a god who is on their side. He also goes on to explain how they have already tried all their other options, and they have failed. Now, if they fail in their...