Ethos meaning ethics, Pathos meaning emotion and Logos meaning logic are the most effective tools when used by the most suited people. Malcolm X was, and is one of the greatest speakers of all time. In Malcolm X’s most famous speech, “The Ballot or The Bullet” grabbed the hearts and minds of the Black population in the civil rights movement during the 60’s. In the Speech he first uses the tool of Logos and effictivly blames the American government for not creating the environment for civil rights. He states, “Why can’t they pass something that will help you and me?
In the Senate, there are 67 senators who are of the Democratic Party. Only 33 of them are Republicans…And what have they [Democrats] given you for it? Four years in office, and just now getting around to some civil-rights legislation. ” The use of Logos in this paragraph is using the statistical data to draw a sensible conclusion.
Logos can often be one of the hardest tools of rhetoric to use in a speech. On the exact opposite end of the spectrum pathos, when used effectively, can help move an audience to high or low extremes. Some speakers have been able to incite anger or fear or respect in their speeches.
Malcolm X’s audience was black Americans, who have been rejected, brutalized, and torn to pieces by what the Muslim Brotherhood calls “the white devil”. Amongst the angst, anger and passion Mr. X brings to his speeches he provides periodic comic relief and would often break and smile when he would say something amusing in his sermons. Mr. X. and his use of Pathos were so great that this might have been one of the reasons for his assassination. Because of how marvelous a speaker he is. Use of Ethos and the ethical piece to a speech brings both ideas down to their core and weans the non-believers of the ideals conveyed.
Ethos being the use of ones ethics is up to the listener to decide if the words presented has done an effective enough on in pathos and logos, to create a sense of choice in the reader. To give the reader a chance to chose his/her sides. He says in the speech “I myself am a minister, not a Christian minister, but a Muslim minister; and I believe in action on all fronts by whatever means necessary”. By doing that, he built up a support on which he could speak his ideas to the listening crowd and convince them to become active and aware about civil rights, As well as gaining a proper comic relief for the audience.
Tools of rhetoric are by far the most useful tools of the English language, and they completely affect how a writer thinks about his speech or how to properly reach the audience. Speakers in history have been able to completely conquore nations like Julius Caesar, or capture their country like Adolf Hitler, and even reunite a broken people like Abraham Lincoln. However one of the greatest speakers of all time, especially during the civil rights movement, was, and is, Malcolm X.
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