Logos, ethos, and pathos

Modes of persuasion are also considered rhetorical devices. They refer to the strategy a sender uses to make a speech more appealing and convincing. These are pathos—appealing to emotions, ethos—appealing to trust, authority, and shared values, and logos—appealing to logical reasoning.

In her “HeForShe Speech”, Emma Watson uses all three modes of persuasion, with a preference for ethos and lo…

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Table of contents

Logos

Generally defined as appeal to reason, logos means using logical arguments, facts, statistical evidence to support an argument, idea, point of view, etc.

Emma Watson uses logos when she gives practical examples of gender role stereotypes which have a negative impact on both women and men, to support the idea that gender equality benefits both men and women: “When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams becau…

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Ethos

Ethos is a strategy by which the speaker appeals to trust or authority. Appealing to ethos means gaining the audience’s trust by suggesting the speaker and those the speaker alludes to are trustworthy, skilled, caring, or knowledgeable.

In “HeForShe Speech at the United Nations”, Emma Watson appeals to the authority of others (borrowed authority) when she makes allusions to Hillary Clinton and Edmund Burke: “In 1995, Hilary Clinton made a famous speech in B…

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Pathos

The appeal to emotions, or pathos, is used whenever a speaker is trying to move and influence the audience through an emotional reaction.

In this case, Emma Watson uses pathos more subtly. She does not always name feelings openly but rather suggests them, such…

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