Home>>WRITING>>Pathos in Literature – Definition, Examples, and Techniques
Pathos in Literature
WRITING

Pathos in Literature – Definition, Examples, and Techniques

Pathos is a rhetorical device that is used to appeal to the emotions of an audience. It can be used to evoke feelings of sadness, happiness, anger, or any other emotion. Pathos is often used in persuasive speeches and writing to inspire people to take action. It is considered the most important element of persuasive works because it is what drives people to act. It can also be used in narratives, stories, or any other type of writing to create an emotional response in the reader.

What Is Pathos in Literature?

Pathos in literature is a rhetorical device that is used to appeal to the emotions of an audience. It can be used to evoke feelings of sadness, happiness, anger, or any other emotion. Pathos is often used in persuasive speeches and writing to inspire people to take action.

Why do Authors Use Pathos?

Authors may use pathos to make an audience feel the emotions, opinions, and values of a speaker. This can be used to sway people’s decisions or influence their opinions on certain topics. Pathos can also be used to create an emotional response in the reader, which can make them more engaged in the story or argument.

Read also, Mood in Literature: Definition and Examples

How Can I Use Pathos Effectively?

When using pathos, it is important for writers to stay away from exaggeration and factual inaccuracy. It should also be done in moderation so as not to lose credibility with the reader. One way authors can achieve this is by remaining impartial when reporting information – there should not be emotional language surrounding facts. When using pathos, it is important to make sure that the emotion being evoked is appropriate for the topic at hand. For example, sadness would not be an ideal emotion to evoke when discussing a new tax policy.

In his speech after the Boston Marathon bombings, President Obama spoke about the resilience of the American people. He said, “We will find out who did this and why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.” The use of pathos in this excerpt is evident in Obama’s words about finding those responsible and making them feel the “full weight of justice.” This excerpt builds on the emotions of sadness and anger that many people were feeling after the bombings.

In her essay “On Compassion,” author Karen Armstrong discusses the importance of compassion in the world. She writes, “Compassion is not a sentimental response but a moral imperative. We must never ignore the suffering of others or turn our backs on the oppressed. We have to learn to feel other people’s pain.” Here, Armstrong is appealing to her readers’ emotions by encouraging them to act ethically and practice compassion through the use of pathos.

What are the Different Types of Pathos?

There are three main types of pathos: emotional, ethical, and logical.

Emotional Pathos: This type of pathos appeals to the emotions of the audience. It can be used to evoke feelings of sadness, happiness, anger, or any other emotion.

Ethical Pathos: This type of pathos appeals to the conscience or sense of right and wrong of the audience. It can be used to persuade people to take action based on their moral values.

Read also, Check Out 10 Types of Poems and How to Identify Them

Logical Pathos: This type of pathos appeals to the logic or reason of the audience. It can be used to persuade people to take action based on evidence and facts.

What are the Examples of Pathos?

There are many examples of pathos in everyday life. A commercial for a charity may make you feel sad for the poor children who don’t have anything to eat. A political speech may make you angry about the problems in today’s society. An advertisement for a new smartphone might make you feel happy and excited to buy it.

Pathos in Literature

Pathos is used by authors of all sorts of literature, from fiction novels to news articles and scientific journals. Some examples of pathos infamous literary pieces include:

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” Leo Tolstoy (and others), “Anna Karenina.”

“Do not go gentle into that good night,” Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…,” Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities.”

In the first excerpt from Anna Karenina, Tolstoy evokes pathos by describing a happy family. The second extract is from a poem in which Thomas uses pathos to emphasize one negative life event and how it differs from other negative events. In the last example, Dickens evokes pathos by contrasting two different situations, one good and one bad. All three authors use pathos because they each want you to feel something when reading their work.

Pathos in Media

Pathos can be used on all types of media including movies, television shows, novels, websites, billboards, etc. Some examples of film trailers that use pathos include:

“If nobody speaks for these children… who will?” “The Day After Tomorrow”

“You’re not the only one with a secret. You have to promise me you won’t tell,” “The Sixth Sense”

“In every life, a little rain must fall,” “The Umbrella Academy”

Pathos in Advertising

Pathos is often used in advertising because it can be very effective at getting people to buy things. Some examples of advertisements that use pathos include:

Read also, What Is Sarcasm? Types, Examples & How to Identify and Use It

A commercial for a new car shows a family driving on a beautiful road.

A commercial for a charity that shows images of poor, hungry children.

A commercial for a shampoo that shows women with long, beautiful hair.

Pathos in Social Media

Pathos can also be used on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Some examples of posts that use pathos include:

A tweet about a child who is homeless and doesn’t have any food.

A post about a dog that was abused and needs a home.

A post about a recent natural disaster that destroyed people’s homes.

Pathos in Speeches

Pathos is often used to create an emotional response in people, and it can be very effective at getting them to take action. There are many techniques that you can use to evoke pathos in your writing or speeches. Some of these techniques include:

Use images or videos to show the audience what you’re talking about.

Telling stories or anecdotes that are emotionally charged.

Making comparisons between two things to highlight the differences.

Using strong language to create an impact.

Provoking outrage or sympathy in the audience.

Read also, How to Write a Poem for Dummies: Step by Step Guide

When used effectively, pathos can be a very powerful tool for getting people to take action. It can be used to evoke any emotion in people, and it can be used in a variety of different contexts. If you want to persuade someone, using pathos may be the best way to do it.

What are the Techniques to Improve Your Writing?

Pathos is a persuasive tool that you can use to get people to feel something when they read your work. It’s often used in advertising, social media, speeches, and literature.

Some techniques that you can use to evoke pathos in your writing include:

  • Use images or videos to show the audience what you’re talking about.
  • Telling stories or anecdotes that are emotionally charged.
  • Making comparisons between two things to highlight the differences.
  • Using strong language to create an impact.
  • Provoking outrage or sympathy in the audience.

Pathos can be a very effective way of getting people to take action, and it’s used by advertisers, writers, speakers, and many other types of authors on all types of media.

Read also, Motif in Literature: Definition and Examples

Final Thoughts

It’s one of the most powerful tools for persuasion because it can make people feel anything when they read your work or listen to you speak. If you want to persuade someone with your writing or speaking skills, using pathos may be the best tool for this purpose. By using pathos effectively, you can get others to feel outrage, fear, anticipation, and many other emotions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.