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Transcript of Patrick Henry
"Give me liberty, or give me death"
The Art of Rhetoric
to achieve purpose: TO FIGHT!
LOGOS: "I have one lamp by which my feet are guided: and that is the lamp of experience."
*This is self-convicting to the listeners because it is their same experience he will share, the experience of their nation as a whole.
Rhetorical Questions Infer they already have/ know the answers through experience:
"I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hope with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House?"
TONES: The Attitudes of the Speaker (Patrick Henry)
Logically admonishing towards the convention's restraint to fight.
Insistence towards fighting.
Patrick Henry was a member of the Virginia legislature and of the Continental Congress. He was a leading advocate of American independence. Known for his oratory, Henry gave the following famous
in 1775, in support of arming Virginia militia to fight the British.
Forwarding the Path to Independence
Leader - Lawyer
Politician - Advocate
"There is a just God"
"We must fight!"
"The war is inevitable-and let it
"Has Great Britain any enemy...
to call for all this accumulation
of navies and armies?"
On March 23, 1775, in Virginia, the largest colony in America, a meeting of the colony's delegates was held in St. John's church in Richmond. Resolutions were presented by Patrick Henry placing the colony of Virginia "into a posture of defense...embodying, arming, and disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient for that purpose." Before the vote was taken on his resolutions, Henry delivered this speech imploring the delegates to vote in favor.
"IF we wish to be free... we must fight!"
"Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!"
"The war is inevitable!"
"They tell us sir.."
"Sir, we have been trying for the last ten years"
Patrick Henry is trying
to convey the absolute need
to take up arms and fight against the British! To defend and claim America!
His persuasion focuses on the fact that despite one's
best efforts, the alternative
is a must.
"These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort."
"... we have been trying for the last ten years"
"There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free....
we must fight!"
Rhetorical Questions / Logos: "I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hope with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House?"
Logos: "Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years."
PATHOS: Diction: "It is in VAIN, sir, to EXTENUATE the matter."
Epistrophe / Repetition: "The war is inevitable- and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!
Rhetorical Question / Cataplexis: "Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when British guard shall be stationed in every house?"
"The war is actually already begun!" "Our brethren are already in the field!"
been trying that for the last ten years."
held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain.
remonstrated; we have supplicated;
prostrated ourselves before the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament.""
ANAPHORA: He is emphasizing ALL that they have done to prove there is no more to do but fight! It is a list that goes on forever it seems. To show they have indeed made the effort to avoid war.
Biblical Allusions to appeal to emotion: Conviction & Revelation of truth
"... having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not..."
Referencing the Book of Mark when Jesus Christ is rebuking his disciples for not already knowing what has been made clear to them already. This alludes to the men who have not accepted the obvious truth of needing to retreat to fighting. It is a moment Henry uses to convict them of their folly, from the mouth of faith, righteousness, and wisdom itself.
"Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed by a kiss."
Referencing the betrayal of Christ from his own disciple Judas Escariot. Judas offered the ultimate betrayal with the sign of an intimate trustworthy kinship- a kiss. Judas is Great Britain deceiving America of trusting them, something Henry is recognizing to be false and wary of .
"There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!"
Referencing the enslavement of God's chosen people in Egypt that Moses worked for God to free. "GOD'S PEOPLE" were freed from their chains of Egypt- now Britain wishes to "chain" "God's people" again, something Henry, like Moses, tenaciously refuses.
(climactic towards end)
"... Give me liberty, or give me death!"
"...let it come!"
"Our chains are forged!"
"We must fight!"
I am willing to die for my country and your freedom
(you should too)
Courage Acceptance of the
inevitable. Excellent role
model to others.
The British are ready to take us... are you ready?
It is what it is... we have no
other option. Let's do this!
Text to Text
Eliezer Wiesel ,
and author of his
memoir NIGHT, showed RESOLVE like Henry
to speak up. While Henry spoke up for the need to
fight, Wiesel spoke us for the need to remember
what was done to the thousands of innocents.
Both speakers used the power of repetition to stress the intensity of their convictions: Henry to have all take up arms and defend their beloved freedom, and Wiesel to convict himself of the inability to let go of his past, for it is a painful scar he could never deny.
In Chapter One of the novel NIGHT, Moshe the Beadle tried to warn the people of Sighet that the Gestapo had murdered all of the foreign Jews that were with him, and that trouble was coming. He claimed that he only escaped because he had sustained a leg injury and was presumed to be dead. The people of Sighet heard him, but dismissed it as nonsense. One of the townspeople even said that "He's just trying to make us pity him", and others claimed that he had gone mad. Moshe tried to plead to them that he was telling the truth, but nobody, not even Elie, who had been studying the Zohar with Moshe, did not believe him.
The Nazis are coming!
The British are Coming!
On a lighter note.....