COMPARE AND CONTRAST The primary aim of Henry and Edward's speech is to express and convince their audience to follow their ideas and beliefs. The intent of the two speeches is different, but their purpose is the same, to persuade the audience to follow their ideals. By using strong language the orators appeal to people's emotions. The use of repetition emphasizes as well as clarifies their point of view. Even though the objectives of the speeches are different, the same methods have been applied to attain their goals.
Even though the idea behind the speech for both the orators is different, both try to convince their audience to adopt their particular opinions and take certain actions. Religious revival is the main purpose of Jonathan Edward's speech. He wants to warn the congregation that being church members will not automatically save them from going to hell. They have to experience a personal moment where they feel the grace of God.
He wishes to change the behavior of his audience toward God and show them the correct path to salvation. In contrast, Patrick Henry's main aim was to convince the delegates for the need of armed resistance. Henry and Edward make their speeches persuasive and inflammatory in order to make the audience think and do what they desire.
Both the writers' use highly charged language to trigger intense feelings such as fear and insecurity. Edwards' speech provokes fear of hell to get people to believe in the divine spirit. Henry on the other hand, appeals to the people by telling them that without armed resources they will be put under the British control. He tries to bring out the patriotic feeling in all his audience. The orators also use very strong and provocative allusions to show their audience the importance of taking their path. Henry warns the colonists not to be "betrayed with a kiss."(Henry, ). He alludes to the apostle Judas who betrayed Jesus by kissing him. He tells the colonists not to be taken in by the friendly gestures of the British, as it might be a trap. He also uses, "..songs of the siren, till she transforms us into beast."(Henry, 263). Here he alludes to Homer's Odyssey. The siren's seductive song lured sailors to her island and then magically transformed them into beasts. Henry compares the illusions of hope to these dangerous mythical creatures. Edward uses, " Who knows the power of God's anger"(Edward, 156) which is an allusion to Psalm 90:11. He appeals to the fear of God's anger.
Edward and Henry use repetition to emphasize their points of view. By repeating their ideas and purpose they want to appeal to the feelings of love, fear and pride in their audience. They also emphasize the principles, such as justice, frugality and religion. With the repetitions Edward wishes to scare, torment and threaten his audience and almost obligates them to take his path. He repeats "flames of wrath"(Edward, 154) and "torment of hell" (Edward, 153). Henry explains the various steps they had taken and how each had failed (Henry, 264-266) in order to convince the colonists that armed resistance was imperative if they want to remain free. By repeatedly focusing on a single point both the rhetoricians demonstrate the urgency and need to follow their ideas and beliefs. Apart from clarity, repetition by the orators intensifies the effect and impact of their speeches.
All leaders adopt the same methods to influence the attitude and thought process of their followers. Similarly Edward's sermon and Henry's speech are about completely different things, yet they use similar devices to convey their message. Thus, the goals could vary but the means remain the same.