Logos, ethos and pathos

Modes of persuasion are rhetorical strategies used by Barack Obama to obtain a favorable reaction to his arguments from the audience. His 2008 victory speech is characterized by intensive use of ethos. Nevertheless, there are also a few instances of pathos and logos that you can discu…

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Table of contents

Logos

The speaker appeals to reason when he mentions facts that support his views, or when he includes logical arguments. For example, he gives factual examples to support the idea that the US is going through challenging times: “we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lif…

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Ethos

Obama appeals to trust and authority throughout the speech because he wants to make himself appear trustworthy, caring, and knowledgeable.

For example, he appeals to the authority of historical figures and American founding documents to draw parallels with the present and to convince the audience that his views are inspired by American ideals: “…more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has…

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Pathos

The speaker appeals to the audience’s emotions to achieve his intentions by stirring an emotional response.

In many cases, he wants to awaken feelings of empathy for Americans who struggle, and to suggest that he understands their position: “There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how…

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