Where is antithesis in Patrick Henry's speech to the Virginia Convention?

Antithesis in Patrick Henry's speech to the Virginia Convention can be found in its most famous line, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” This is an example of antithesis because it contrasts two completely opposite conditions, liberty and death. Given the framing of such a stark choice, it's inevitable that on Henry's terms, all freedom-loving Americans would rather be dead than live without liberty.

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In his powerful, dramatic speech to the Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry wants to instill a sense of urgency in his listeners. The time for vacillation is over; there is no longer any point in trying to compromise with the British. Instead of relying on the British to protect their liberties, the Americans must be prepared to fight for them—to the death, if necessary.

This stark choice is designed to make Henry's audience realize just what is at stake. There is no longer any middle position that can be adopted; there are only two choices: liberty or death. In this antithesis, Henry is putting forward two radically distinct visions of America's future before his listeners and demanding that they choose between them.

Suffice to say, Henry has already made his choice; he'd rather die fighting for liberty than live in chains. And he wants the members of his audience to do likewise—to take up arms in defense of American liberty against a power that has so frequently and blatantly violated...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 828 words.)

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