Rhetoric, Aristotle’s: Ethos

The term ethos is one of the three appeals in persuasive speech described by Aristotle in his book Rhetoric. According to Aristotle, a persuasive speech has three appeals: logos (logical arguments), pathos (emotional appeals), and ethos (good character of the speaker). Aristotle described ethos as persuasion through character, as to make a speaker worthy of credence. Ethos is an important concept for analyzing human communication because it gives scholars a way to identify strategies in persuasive speeches.

Ethos is an appeal in persuasive speeches like, “Believe my words because I am a credible person.” Through ethos a speaker persuades an audience to believe that he or she is a fair-minded and knowledgeable person. For example, a speaker attempts to persuade an audience that ...

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