Tutor profile: Jillian O.
What are ethos, pathos, and logos, and how can you use them in your writing?
As parts of the rhetorical triangle, ethos, pathos, and logos, are each equally integral to a well-written argument. Ethos is the appeal to credibility. This appeal would mainly be used in sources. A Wikipedia article or listicle may have a useful quote, but an academic journal or peer-reviewed article would be more helpful and more convincing when proving the point of an argument (Ex: Using an article written by a professor of criminal justice in a paper regarding rising crime rates). Pathos is the appeal to emotion. An example of this would be the ASPCA commercials with the sad dogs, urging the viewer to make a donation. This could be used in an argument as a call to action, such as a testimonial of a victim of cyberbullying as the conclusion to a paper arguing for stricter consequences to cyberbullies. Finally, logos is an appeal to logic. This is mainly seen through statistics and graphs. Using statistics for which ice cream flavors sell the most in a given month can be used in an argument for which flavor to advertise more. The rhetorical triangle is a classical and useful tool in determining a sound argument in writing.
In Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart", though he is advised not to, Okonkwo kills Ikemefuna anyways. Why do you think he does so?
Okonkwo spends the entire book proving to not only those around him but himself that he is not like his lazy and feminine father. He is instead a great warrior and farmer that built himself from the ground up. Following orders from his elders is a task that he would not think twice about. Unfortunately, that task includes killing Ikemefuna, who for the past five or so years has been the eldest son that Okonkwo always wanted but never saw in Nwoye, his actual eldest son. Ikemefuna has been a good worker and has even become a surrogate big brother and role model for Nwoye. The only issue is that he arrive to the family because of a debt a neighboring tribe paid, and the only reason he was not killed immediately was because the tribe leaders did not know what to do with him. A figurative father and son, killing Ikemefuna is an incredibly challenging task for Okonkwo, yet he does it anyways. In the end, his tribe and his honor matter more to him than a surrogate favorite son ever would. Okonkwo knows his duties and would rather die than damage his image. hence why he contributes to the death of the young man.
In Shakespeare's "Hamlet", what is the significance of Hamlet's "Alas, Poor Yorick" soliloquy?
The significance of this speech is that Hamlet is mourning a jester more than he ever has his father. The death of his father is more about having a reason to kill the uncle he already hates. Yorick was more of a father figure to Hamlet than his actual father ever was, as evident by having "borne [Hamlet] on his back a thousand times...Here hung those lips that [he] kissed [he] know not how oft" (5.1.163-167). Hamlet never mentions how hands-on his father was towards him, but spends an entire speech talking about the joy Yorick, a jester brought him. This speech essentially shows Hamlet's true intentions for why he intends to kill Claudius.
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