Rhetorical Devices in To His Excellency General Washington

Rhetorical Devices Examples in To His Excellency General Washington:

Text of the Poem 1

"Enough thou know’st..."   (Text of the Poem)

Wheatley creates a subtle shift in address in these lines. At the poem’s start, it is not clear who the speaker addresses as an audience beyond the muses. Here, the speaker issues a rhetorical question: “Shall I to Washington their praise recite?” In the following line, the speaker turns to George Washington, addressing him with the familiar pronoun “thou.” The rest of the poem serves as both an ode to Washington and a blessing of him as he leads the American revolt.