Henry, Patrick. “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” Speech

In: Historical Events

Submitted By mwatson357
Words 1009
Pages 5
Patrick Henry's Biblically Charged Speech



Patrick Henry utilizes advance oratory skills, and various literary devices to illustrate his "Give me Liberty or give me death!" speech to members of the Virginia legislature. Henry possesses an impressive ability to speak to the hearts of men. His fiery passion combined with biblical passages outline a common theme that implies God sanctions his cause. Henry uses metaphors to invoke prevocational images to give his words life, and foreshadowing to allude what is to come if decisive actions are not taken. Henry and many representatives in the Virginia legislative were slave owners. This encourages Henry to utilize slavery to instill fear and anger in these proud men because the mere thought of being considered a slave is unconscionable.
In the beginning of his speech, Henry very respectfully presents his argument to the president and the legislature at the second Virginia Convention. His challenge is to present abundantly radical ideas without alienating his audience as Henry states, "...no man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism." Some regarded him as non-patriotic because of his far-reaching ideas with respect to the parliament, King George III, and his position on going to war with England. Henry eloquently continues to address them by utilizing metaphors hoping to invoke logic and emotional responses. This is evident as Henry states, "...different men often see the same subject in different lights." Literally meaning men may not agree by which approach is the best to use, but never less all are patriots the same. Henry uses light as a metaphor for enlightenment and truth, alluding to its biblical connotations and connecting to his audience's strong belief in God.
As Henry moves forward in his appeal stating, "this is no time for ceremony" meaning time is of the essence, and this is not…...

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