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Rhetorical Analysis

3333 words - 14 pages

In today’s society, we are exposed to countless amounts of compositions such as novels and films. However, when an individual reads a book or watches a movie, they subconsciously create connections to the plot as they relate it to their own lives. After the movie is completely watched one is able to sit down and ask himself, “Did I like that movie?” While an average person could give a simple yes or no answer, a professional in the field of reviewing movies and novels knows that the quality of the movie is directly related to its rhetorical effectiveness. If one were to attempt an analysis of a film or book’s rhetorical effectiveness, they would need to reference what is called the “Rhetoric Triangle” which is comprised of Ethos, Logos and Pathos. These three devices can be classified as tools for persuasion, thus, a great piece of work will have each of these tools. An excellent example of a novel that successfully incorporates each of these forms of rhetoric is titled The Lightning Thief and was written by Rick Riordan and published in 2005. Riordan made this book so successful through his vivid portrayal of a Greek mythological world hiding within reality all across America. The written genre of The Lightning Thief provided the foundation for Chris Columbus to create film adaptation of the novel in 2010. Chris Columbus’ film representation of the novel The Lightning Thief (2005), while proving to be disappointing in regards to the plot when compared to the novel, both representations were able to clearly create connections to Aristotle’s three ingredients for persuasion: Ethos, Logos and Pathos.
In recent times, Professor Jeanne Fahnestock has devoted her thoughts and efforts to understanding what she calls “The Appeals: Ethos, Pathos and Logos.” According to the studies of Professor Fahnestock, Aristotle is well-known for his intelligence, studies and discussions regarding the “systematic understanding of logic, physics, astronomy, meteorology, metaphysics, theology, psychology, politics, economics, ethics, rhetoric, and poetics.” Additionally, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy goes into great detail regarding Aristotle’s Rhetoric. As stated by this philosophical encyclopedia, “the systematical core of Aristotle's Rhetoric is the doctrine that there are three technical means of persuasion.” In this statement, the word “technical” implies two characteristics: First, technical persuasion must be built on a method involving the knowledge of what it truly means to be persuasive. Secondly, the technical means of persuasion must be prepared by the speaker himself and cannot involve oaths, witnesses or testimonies as these examples are considered to be non-technical. Finally, technical means of persuasion can exist in the character of the speaker, in the emotional state of the reader/hearer or in the logic of the argument itself.
The “Rhetoric Triangle,” as previously stated, is comprised of Ethos, Logos and Pathos which have become known as...

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