Meaning Ethos Pathos Logos

Today, with all the new digital technologies and Internet-communication, we still use Rhetoric, or Oratory, and its basic doctrines, submitted by Aristotle. After all, so far nothing better than the famous “Rhetorical Triangle” has been invented for making any public speech effective. The simplest pattern of the three notions that allow any speech to be persuading and reach the audience in the form in which the narrator conceived.

This does not only work for direct speech, but also for letters and messages, which are now replacing the live conversations, and mean much more for both business and personal aspects of our lives.

The School of Athens Fresco

Aristotle is known as the founder of many sciences and, even more, the architect of the scientific worldview. He was a talented man in every way. In his understanding of public speech, he identified three main elements of oration efficiency: ethos, pathos, logos. The essence of these three components can be translated as personality, emotions, logic.

The image of the rhetorician is formed in three aspects of manifestation of a person’s individuality in the word:

  • Logos is the possession of intellectual basics of reasoning.
  • Pathos is the emotional technique of argumentation.
  • Etos is the knowledge of the relevance of a statement.

Rhetorical Triangle: Ethos Pathos Logos

Meaning of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

The three whales, “ethos”, “pathos”, “logos” are the fundamental terms in oratory. Etos stands for those conditions that the recipient of speech offers to its author. These conditions refer to the time and place of conversation, and this determines part of its content, its subject matter, which the recipient of the speech may consider appropriate or inappropriate. It’s easy, as inappropriate speech, may be rejected by the recipient.

What is ethos?

The thing that is crucial to understand is that ethos is a verbal presentation of a speaker’s personal qualities, convincing the audience that this speaker needs to be trusted. As we all know, the personal charm of the orator is a fundamental part of the message he sends. This is also the ethos. Charming people are easier to believe in.

What is pathos?

Pathos is the motive, the intention of the orator, who has the goal to develop a certain topic, which will reach the recipient. It is limited to the category of ethos, on the one hand, i.e. it can be realized only within its place and time. Another limitation of pathos is the verbal means usable for building the contact-bridge between the speaker and the recipient of speech. In simple words, it is a magnet for the listeners, an instrument, which appeals to people’s feelings. It is the ability to create proper emotions and senses with the help of certain verbal images. The speech can evoke sadness or happiness, or even a spiritual rise. To sum up, for pathos, everything that makes listeners sentimental and sympathetic goes into action.

What is logos?

Logos is commonly referred to as the verbal means used by the speaker as the implementation of the intent of the speech. In addition to the realization of the plan, logos requires using such verbal means, which will be understood and accepted by the recipient. Logos is simply logic, a way of belief through logical constructions. The logic that you can’t argue against.

Thus, ethos creates the conditions for speech, pathos is the source of its meaning, and logos is for the verbal representation of two other terms, ethos and pathos.

Effective public speaking

It is always crucial Who speaks. If a speaker does not have sufficient personal characteristics: experience, reputation, achievements, character, knowledge, appropriate appearance — his words won’t change a lot. Besides mistrust and doubt, he can also cause pity and laughter.

  • The personality is the basis of any speech. Not believing in what you are saying and dreaming will never lead you to effectiveness. To make others trust you — be confident.
  • Pathos is the energy and soul of oration, the ability to evoke the right sentiments in the listener, reasoning, and perception of feelings, fears, and doubts. It colors at speech and makes people remember it and come back to it in their thoughts, which gives the right results for the speaker.
  • Logos stands for clear statements, perception of the essence and objective of the speech, reasonable, sensory, and obvious confirmation of words, evidence. Logic comes after attitude, temperament, and feelings. So does the logos. To perceive your opinions, you, as a person, have to be respected and accepted by the audience.

But logic will never work without personality and proper mood and feelings. Speeches like that are usually boring. As for the orations with a lot of emotions and sentiments, but without any logical basement — they do not always seem adequate. A strong personality can influence people even without having any logical or emotional basement, but such speech will not cause comprehending and internal harmony with the words and thoughts of the speaker.

One Final Thought

Only by combining all three particles of the rhetoric triangle, you can create a highly-effective message, which will reach your audience. Balance is the most significant thing in all aspects of our lives, including communication. We all strive for harmony in everything, and we all want to be heard properly.

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