When companies or businesses use a model, celebrity, or credible source to help create advertisements for their product or services, they are using the principle of ethos. This principle uses these people to influence our decisions to use a specific product or service. By taking advantage of our human nature, companies, and service businesses can ensure that the product or service organically gains traction.
Ethos, logos, and pathos are the three modes of persuasion. The Greek philosopher Aristotle defined ethos as one of the three modes of persuasion that uses the target audience’s principle as a way to appeal to them. You can see examples of this in modern-day media when a person of renown and credibility advertises a product or service via advertisements or product placement. This mode of persuasion relies on the people’s earned trust from famous and influential people in a specific theme, context, and tone.
People often use ethos to persuade and influence people to do or go in a certain direction. One of the lesser-known functions of ethos is its ability to be a literary device or a rhetorical device in both your writing and speech. Using ethos in your literary work allows you to make your characters relatable and approachable.
Before you will start writing your output, you should first select what perspective you want your reader to have in your book. Planning all perspectives will ensure that you know how you are going to personalize the characters and events in the story. A first-person perspective entails that the reader is going to experience the story through the eyes of a character, often characterized by I statements. Whilst a third-person perspective allows the reader to experience the story with an omnipresent perspective, letting the reader take the place of an unseen and unobservable observer.
When establishing a character through the principles of ethos, they will need to be relatable and grounded. This is true for all types of genres. Set your characters up to have flaws, interests, weaknesses, and more, so that will outline the perspective or world these characters are living in.
The character should undergo an arc where they will actively try to do something for the betterment of themselves or the people around them. This will help ensure that your character is accountable for their actions even if they constantly screw up. People tend to be interested in books and texts with characters that they can relate to; a perfect character without any flaws is a character that is unrelatable in all aspects.
After creating a character and setting them up, you can now start creating a storyboard for your story. The story doesn’t have to be too realistic or grounded in reality to be relatable. That is because people will latch on to the characters rather than the plot of the story.
Ethos, pathos, and logos are the three modes of persuasion proposed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Ethos is the mode of persuasion that requires the person to appeal to the target audience’s ethics or principles, this is usually in the form of a famous or credible person acting as the persuader. Aristotle describes pathos as the mode of persuasion that requires the person to appeal to the target audience’s emotions, which usually manifests as an emotional plea or story. Lastly, logos is the mode of persuasion that requires the person to appeal to their target audience’s logic, often through the person’s utilization of facts, reasoning, and figures.
Ethos is a great literary device we can use to make our characters trustworthy and relatable to the audience. This will ensure that your audience will have a character or person to latch onto, ensuring that they will read more of the story. Another advantage you obtain when you use ethos as a literary device is its ability to easily create believable characters.
You utilize ethos when you are trying to persuade a group of people of a certain product or service. Using the definition of ethos, you can appeal to your target audience by using a celebrity or a trusted source to support the product or service. Just ensure that this product or service is directly adjacent or related to the celebrity or source advertising said product or service.
The three modes of persuasion are a very interesting and important concept proposed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Ethos illustrates how people can easily be persuaded by other people of renown and credibility.