Logos names the appeal to reason. Aristotle wished that
all communication could be transacted only through this appeal, but given
the weaknesses of humanity, he laments, we must resort to the use of the
other two appeals. The Greek term logos is laden with many more meanings
than simply "reason," and is in fact the term used for "oration."
Sample rhetorical analysis in terms of LOGOS
When Descartes said, "I
think; therefore, I am," his statement reflected in its pure concision
and simple logical arrangment the kind of thought and being he believed
to be most real. He did not, as Pascal would later, claim that our being
has as much to do with feeling as it does thinking. Descartes here equates
pure rationality and pure being, persuading us of the accuracy of this
equation by the simplicity of his statement. There is no room for the clouds
of emotion in this straightforward formula; it makes a purely logical appeal.
Pathos names the appeal to emotion. Cicero encouraged
the use of pathos at the conclusion of an oration, but emotional appeals
are of course more widely viable. Aristotle's Rhetoric contains
a great deal of discussion of affecting the emotions, categorizing the
kinds of responses of different demographic groups. Thus, we see the close
relations between assessment of pathos and of audience.
Pathos is also the category by which we can understand the psychological
aspects of rhetoric. Criticism of rhetoric tends to focus on the overemphasis
of pathos, emotion, at the expense of logos, the message.
Sample rhetorical analysis in terms of PATHOS:
Antony, addressing the
crowd after Caesar's murder in Shakespeare's play, manages to stir them
up to anger against the conspirators by drawing upon their pity. He does
this by calling their attention to each of Caesar's dagger wounds, accomplishing
this pathetic appeal through vivid descriptions combined with allusions
to the betrayal of friendship made by Brutus, who made "the most unkindest
cut of all":
Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through;
See what a rent the envious Casca made;
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd,
And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it,
As rushing out of doors to be resolv'd
If Brutus so unkindly knock'd or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov'd him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
--Julius Caesar 3.2.174-183
Ethos names the persuasive appeal of one's character,
especially how this is established by means of the speech or discourse.
Aristotle claimed that one needs to appear both knowledgeable about one's
subject and benevolent. Cicero said that in classical oratory the initial
portion of a speech (its encomium or introduction) was the place to establish
one's credibility with the audience.
Sample rhetorical analysis in terms of ETHOS:
In Cicero's speech defending
the poet Archias, he begins his speech by referring to his own expertise
in oratory, for which he was famous in Rome. While lacking modesty, this
tactic still established his ethos because the audience was forced to acknowledge
that Cicero's public service gave him a certain right to speak, and his
success in oratory gave him special authority to speak about another author.
In effect, his entire speech is an attempt to increase the respectability
of the ethos of literature, largely accomplished by tying it to Cicero's
own, already established, public character.
Related Topics of Invention
The topics of invention serve to increase the ethos
or credibility of the speaker insofar as these are logically persuasive,
and insofar as one appeals to the kinds of proofs or authorities that are
seen as authoritative to that audience.