Logos, ethos, and pathos

The dominant modes of persuasion in Donald Trump’s inaugural address are ethos and pathos, with logos being used only occasionally.…

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Table of contents

Logos

The speaker appeals to the audience’s reason when he suggests one of his points is logical, or when he supports his views with facts.

One example in which the speaker suggests his views are logical is: “Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families and good jobs for themselves. Thes…

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Ethos

Donald Trump heavily relies on ethos in his speech, through numerous attempts to make himself or the audience appear to be trustworthy, skilled, caring, or knowledgeable.

For example, the speaker presents himself in the following ways that make him appear as a legitimate, caring leader: “The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.”; “I will fight for you with every breath in m…

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Pathos

The speaker appeals to feelings because he wants to obtain an emotional reaction favorable to his views. The speaker repeatedly exploits the audience’s frustrations by using images that suggest negative feelings (anger, pain, fear): “Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, (…) and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.” The speaker appeals to such negative feelings because he wants to suggest that he is the one who can change things in the US, to present hi…

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