The Reflections of the French Revolution and the French Monarch by Edmund Burke

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Edmund Burke writes of the French Revolution and its concern to the French Monarch. He discusses scenes of the revolution in passing, such as the Queen escaping for her life and the executions of those against the movement. Burke is arguing in defense of the royal family. He continues, attesting that chivalry is dead due to the fact that the citizens went from being overly protective of the Queen to actually attacking her. The attackers, in one swift movement, scarred the splendid Palace at Versailles by leaving it stained with the blood and bodies of those opposed to the revolt (Burke 71). No longer were the citizens of France subject to the family’s rule, for they had undone the social contract offering submission. Burke writes of a post-monarch era of France where commoners have usurped power as heads of state. Burke concludes by stating Europe is now subject to those he considers unprincipled (Burke 76). Burke effectively utilizes rhetoric to present his argument against the revolt’s proponents.

Burke’s attempt to draw at our heartstrings in support of the royal family is evident in his strong wording. The point of view of the French citizens’ struggles are not offered in this essay, leading to the conclusion that Burke is quite adamant in his assessment of this situation. The violence brought against the King and Queen, and Burke’s own evaluation that Europe’s glory is a victim as well, are examples of this. For what Burke lacks in political assessment, he makes up for in emotional appeal. Burke also describes his interaction with the Queen. He compares her likeness to a morning-star and discusses how stately and joyous she is while carefully avoiding any words lacking veneration (Burke 75-76). This passage is clearly making use of persuasive rhetoric to support Burke’s view of the Revolution and how it related to the monarchy. Burke is very insistent, while appearing sincere in his words regarding the fallen monarchy. This tone is related to his argument as a means of conveying his own emotions through the audience.

Burke argues for the traditional European establishment of citizens subordinate to a monarch. His argument against violence directed towards the Queen is, at times, grounded in affective reasoning more so than logic. The essay is littered with rhetoric as a means to bypass the lack of factual evidence presented. With that being said, rarely ever are arguments or rhetoric present without the other. This argument is meant to prove something, making rhetoric a necessity. A noticeable difference between the two, however, keeps them from being synonymous. An argument for academic purposes is used as a tool of clarification. It is a mode of conveying ideas to help a reader better understand a point of view. Rhetoric is an effective use of language to pull an audience closer in line to your argument. Moreover, rhetoric is the language being used to present an argument and is the means by which Burke presents his case against the French Revolution. And point of view of the French citizens’ struggles.

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The Reflections of the French Revolution and the French Monarch by Edmund Burke. (2023, May 09). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-reflections-of-the-french-revolution-and-the-french-monarch-by-edmund-burke/

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