Ethos Pathos Logos Essay

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For the first few weeks of school we have been indulged in great literature written by many honorable people. We have read about one man more than any other and his name is Martin Luther King Jr. We read his “I Have a Dream Speech,” and his Letter from Birmingham Jail. King was a very strong leader and activist in the Civil Rights movement. People loved his charisma and the way he could relate to the people. He was a great motivator through words, and not force. In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, King uses the Rhetorical triangle consisting of Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. By using all three of these techniques in his writing King is able to get the reader’s attention and to not only have people understand his point, but to add emotion, credibility, and reason to his writing. Kings expresses logos in many parts of his letter. Logos appeals to reason and can be thought of as the text of an argument, as well as how well a writer has argues his/her point. For example his directly uses logos when he states, “There are two types of laws; unjust and just laws coming into logic and reason.” His is arguing that there are laws and they are not always fair and justified. Also, King is able to incorporate counter arguments into his letter. “Why direct action, why sit-ins, marches, and so forth?” King is able to ask this question as if he was part of the audience and then he goes and answers it himself. He explains how and why they are doing all these protests. Martin Luther King from the beginning of his letter states how involved he is with his movements and what other groups he is involved in. Ethos appeals to a writer’s character. It can be thought of as the role of the writer in the argument, and how credible his/her argument is. In Kings case he is very credible. In the second paragraphs he gives certain information that tells us as readers that we can trust what he is

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