In remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have

In support of arming the Virginia militia to fight the British, leading advocate of American independence, Patrick Henry argues that his countrymen have to declare war against the British. To strengthen both the logic and persuasiveness, Patrick Henry deftly employs rhetorical questions, parallelism, and powerful diction. Henry makes subtle yet effective use of rhetorical questioning to persuade his audience that war is the path that leads to freedom.  He asks the audience to wonder if they are “disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?” By asking this question, Henry motivates his audience to try “to know the whole truth.” This rhetorical question stimulates the audience to ignore the British militia and signs around them. When Henry asks legislature “shall we try argument?”, he inculcates in the minds of his audience that his countrymen tried being nonviolent and cordial, but British overlooked their attempts. Patrick Henry tactfully uses rhetorical questions to develop his argument and encourages his audience to change from passiveness to defensiveness. Furthermore, Henry’s speech advances by his use of parallelism. Henry claims, “We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne.” He creates rhythm and emphasizes his point that his countrymen have to adopt a new method. His audience realizes the reality of their current situation when he lists all the past efforts. When Henry proclaims, “give me liberty, or give me death,” he means that colonists only have two choices: freedom or slavery. Henry stirs the souls of his audience. This strategy, parallelism, gives a strong emotional uproar to Henry’s audience. Henry efficiently uses parallelism to build his argument and fires up the emotions of his audience. Finally, Patrick Henry uses powerful diction in a methodical and logical way. When Henry says, “arduous struggle for liberty?” he expresses the dreadful journey the colonists went through just to lay the first stone for freedom. His use of descriptive words allows the readers to visualize and create a detailed picture in their minds. Also, this adds authority and legitimacy to his speech. In addition, he explains the way the British accepted the colonist’s demands: with an “insidious smile.” This creates an appeal to emotions. The audience gets to know the deceptive nature of the British and the false hope they are igniting in the colonists. Henry buttresses his argument by rationally using powerful diction, which serves as pathos. Overall, the speech effectively weaves rhetorical questions, parallelism, and powerful diction to assert the urgent need for war. The audience leaves with a strong conclusion that perhaps a sense of patriotism can lead to freedom.