2nd and 4th period assignment

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Rhetorical Devices and “Speech in the
Virginia Convention”
Rhetorical devices are structures or skills
within language that appeal to readers
and communicate ideas.
In other words, rhetorical devices make you
want to listen.
structures within language that appeal to readers
and communicate ideas
Parallelism is a kind of repetition in which words or
phrases in the same grammatical form connect
ideas. Ex. “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet?”
Biblical Allusions are references to events, figures, or
phrases from the Bible. In this text, they have the
rhetorical appeal of shared beliefs.
Rhetorical Questions are questions to which no
answers are expected. ex. “But when shall we grow
Antithesis expresses contrasting ideas in parallel
grammatical structures. ex. “Give me liberty, or give
me death.”
Repetition is the recurrence of words, phrases, or lines.
ex. “Let it come! I repeat sir, let it come!”
› "Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing."
- Goethe
"We must learn to live together as brothers or
perish together as fools." - Martin Luther King,
“Money is the root of all evils: poverty is the
fruit of all goodness.” (source unknown)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of
times - Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
To err is human; to forgive divine. - An Essay
on Criticism by Alexander Pope
"I don’t want to live on in my work. I want to live on in my
apartment." - Woody Allen
“Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered).” (Julius Caesar)
We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have
supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne,
and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands
of the ministry and Parliament.
"Today's students can put dope in their veins or hope in their
brains. If they can conceive it and believe it, they can achieve
it. They must know it is not their aptitude but their attitude that
will determine their altitude." - Jesse Jackson
“My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task
before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of
the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.” - Barack Obama
Objective: You need to be able to point
out these rhetorical devices and then tell
me why the speaker used them.
› rhetorical question
› antithesis
› repetition
› parallelism
› Biblical allusions
On your separate sheet of paper:
 Answer the following questions about the
example you found of parallelism and
the example you found of aqntithesis
1) What does the line/sentence mean?
2) How does it help explain the main idea of the
3) How does the rhetorical device help Patrick
Henry convince his listeners to agree with
Parallelism: page ___ line(s) ___
Antithesis: page ___ line(s) ___
Annotate your copy of “Speech in the
Virginia Convention:
To annotate means:
› Circle and define words to which you don’t
know the meaning
› Highlight all rhetorical devices you see
› Summarize EACH paragraph of the speech
in the margins
Make sure you have the following
assignments finished:
 Speech in the Virginia Convention
Handout questions
 Rhetorical devices explained (today’s
 Annotated speech

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