Pathos, Logos & Ethos in I Have a Dream Speech - Examples & Templates | StoryboardThat (2023)

The ELA Common Core Standards, in high school, require students to improve their formal writing abilities by producing well-thought-out essays and arguments that are appropriately structured. They also need students to employ effective argumentative writing methods for them to defend a position or perspective.

The ability to deconstruct and validate, or debunk, opposing viewpoints is essential for strong persuasive writing. This necessitates a basic understanding of rhetoric. Teaching the Aristotelian concepts of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos as ways to enhance students' comprehension of good arguments is a fantastic approach to cultivating their understanding of effective arguments. Students may then assess the efficacy of these methods in a piece of writing, speech, or letter.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" is one of the most famous quoted speeches in history. In it, King uses rhetoric to appeal to his audience's emotions, values, and logic. By doing so, he is able to make a powerful argument for civil rights. So with that, it is worth exploring the ethos (expertise), pathos (emotional appeal), and logos (logic) of the speech to break it down into some core elements.

The speech was delivered on August 28th, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. during the march on Washington for jobs and freedom. Centering around the dreams that King had, having grown up during segregated times of black and white folk. The speech text included repetition of the line "I Have a Dream..." such as:


“I Have a Dream that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

(Video) Logos, pathos, ethos, kairos


“I Have a Dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”


To truly understand the impact of this speech, we first need to understand the meanings behind ethos (expertise), pathos (emotional appeal), and logos (logic).

Ethos

Ethos is the credibility of the speaker. To establish ethos, a speaker must be seen as an expert in the topic at hand or be someone who is trusted by the audience. King was both an expert on civil rights and someone who was highly respected by the African American community. This gave his speech a great deal of authority and made it more persuasive.


Examples of Ethos in “I Have a Dream” Speech

“I Have a Dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Pathos

Pathos is the use of emotions to persuade an audience. King does an excellent job of using pathos to appeal to his audience's emotions. For example, he talks about the dreams that he has for his children and how he wants them to be judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin. This is a powerful message that speaks to people's hearts and motivates them to act.


Examples of Pathos in “I Have a Dream” Speech

“Five score years ago a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree is a great beacon light of hope it millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But 100 years later the Negro still is not free.”

(Video) Ethos, Pathos, Logos Introduction

Logos

Logos is the use of logic and reason to persuade an audience. King uses logos throughout his speech by providing evidence and reasoning for why civil rights are important. He also uses analogy and metaphor to help illustrate his points. For instance, he compares Blacks to "a nation of sheep" being led astray by a "jackass" (the White establishment). This comparison helps to paint a picture in the minds of his listeners and makes his argument more understandable.


Examples of Logos in “I Have a Dream” Speech

“The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.”


I Have a Dream Writing Template

You can use the I Have a Dream writing template during class to get students to think about the different elements of King's speech. The template has sections for all three components discussed; Ethos, Pathos & Logos. This template may also be used as a guide for students to write their own speeches.

Each section assists students in the I Have a Dream speech rhetorical analysis by allowing them to type in a quote that belongs to each section of the template. Students can then use these I Have a Dream ethos, pathos, and logos sections to illustrate each example quote with characters, scenes, and emotions.

Take logos for example. The logos of the speech are the reasoning and examples that Dr. King uses to back up his argument. These logos quotes can be from famous cases, statistics, or even history. Here are some examples of logos in I Have a Dream speech:


“America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds'.”

(Video) Ethos Pathos & Logos

Or

“We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is a victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.”


How Does Martin Luther King Use Ethos in His Speech?

Martin Luther King uses ethos in his speech by discussing his credentials as a Baptist minister and civil rights leader. He also talks about his experience with discrimination and how he has seen the effects of segregation firsthand. By sharing his personal experiences, he establishes himself as a credible source on the topic of civil rights.

In addition to discussing his own experiences, King also cites other sources to support his argument. He talks about the Founding Fathers and how they “were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” He as well references the Emancipation Proclamation and how it was a “great beacon light of hope” for African Americans.

How Does Martin Luther King Use Pathos in His Speech?

Martin Luther King uses pathos in his speech by sharing the experiences of African Americans who have faced discrimination and segregation. He talks about how African Americans have been “seared in the flames of withering injustice” and how they are still not free even 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. By sharing these powerful stories, he elicits an emotional response from his audience and strengthens his argument for civil rights.

King also uses analogy and metaphor to help illustrate his points. For instance, his comparison of African Americans to “a nation of sheep” and the white establishment to “jackass”. This comparison helps to paint a vivid picture of the situation and makes his argument more relatable to his audience.

(Video) Persuasion - Ethos, Logos, Pathos


How Does Martin Luther King Use Logos in His Speech?

Martin Luther King uses logos in his speech by citing statistics and historical events to support his argument. He talks about how African Americans have been discriminated against in housing, education, and employment. He also references the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to show how all men are supposed to be treated equally. By using these facts and figures, he demonstrates that segregation is unjust and must be abolished.

King also uses persuasive language throughout his speech. For example, he talks about how African Americans “have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check” that was written by the Founding Fathers. This analogy helps his audience understand that civil rights are not just a Black issue, but an American issue. It is something that everyone should be concerned about and working to fix.

Overall the activity resource teaches the children about ethos, pathos, and logos. It is a good way to introduce the topic and allow the children to explore it in more depth.

When looking at how Martin Luther King uses rhetoric, we can see that he employs all three of Aristotle's modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos. He establishes his credibility as a leader early on in the speech, by talking about his experience with discrimination and sharing his credentials as a Baptist minister. Throughout the speech, he uses emotional language to connect with his audience and paint a picture of the struggles that African Americans face. He also uses logic and reasoning to back up his argument, by citing statistics and historical events.

The way he uses the three cornerstones of making a speech impactful will teach the children the importance of rhetoric in public speaking. They can then use literary devices in the “I Have a Dream” speech, get creative, and start to build up their own scenes, with characters to bring to life the quotes from each section that they have chosen. This will allow them to demonstrate to the high school ELA Common Core Standards that your teaching methods and school are providing the children with the learning resources to develop the ability to find, read, and comprehend complex informational texts.

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FAQs

What is an example of pathos in the I Have a Dream Speech? ›

Martin Luther King uses Pathos when he says “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” He uses pathos here to appeal to his entire audience.

How does MLK use ethos pathos and logos in I Have a Dream? ›

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used pathos and logos in his speech to draw in people so he can make them act and he used pathos and ethos in his letter to defend his ideas using his knowledge of the audience and the occasion.

Is the I Have a Dream Speech ethos pathos or logos? ›

Examples Of Ethos In I Have A Dream Speech

Martin Luther King Jr. displays pathos by targeting the audience's emotion by talking about his American dream that could also be other peoples too. He shows logos by giving a sense of hope to the people that better things will come in time.

How is logos used in the I Have a Dream Speech? ›

Kings use of logos is clear throughout the speech, for example when he explains “police brutality” and “creative suffering” it provides strong logical appeal for the reader. Logically any human being can understand and sympathize with the issue of the denial of basic human rights to the African American people (King).

What is pathos logos and ethos examples? ›

Logos appeals to the audience's reason, building up logical arguments. Ethos appeals to the speaker's status or authority, making the audience more likely to trust them. Pathos appeals to the emotions, trying to make the audience feel angry or sympathetic, for example.

What is an example of ethos in I Have a Dream? ›

How Does Martin Luther King Use Ethos in His Speech? Martin Luther King uses ethos in his speech by discussing his credentials as a Baptist minister and civil rights leader. He also talks about his experience with discrimination and how he has seen the effects of segregation firsthand.

How does King George use ethos in his speech? ›

To call on their ethos and pathos, King George also tries to establish a personal connection for the effort of unity for the upcoming war effort to the entirety of his subjects. He calls for all citizens to act with their personal, physical, and emotional strength, showing his faith in the abilities of the British.

How do you identify ethos pathos and logos in a speech? ›

Ethos is about establishing your authority to speak on the subject, logos is your logical argument for your point and pathos is your attempt to sway an audience emotionally. Leith has a great example for summarizing what the three look like.

How does Franklin use logos in his speech? ›

Throughout Benjamin Franklin's “Speech at the Convention,” Franklin conspicuously utilizes logos to further his agenda by appealing to the people present at the Philadelphia Convention/Constitutional Convention; with the purpose of persuading and convincing his compatriots to ratify the newly made constitution.

What are logos examples? ›

Logos is when we use cold arguments – like data, statistics, or common sense – to convince people of something, rather than trying to appeal to an audience's emotions. Here's an example of logos in action from our man Aristotle himself: All men are mortal. Socrates is a man.

How do you start an ethos in a speech? ›

You can establish ethos—or credibility—in two basic ways: you can use or build your own credibility on a topic, or you can use credible sources, which, in turn, builds your credibility as a writer.

How do you use pathos in a speech? ›

Pathos is to persuade by appealing to the audience's emotions. As the speaker, you want the audience to feel the same emotions you feel about something, you want to emotionally connect with them and influence them. If you have low pathos the audience is likely to try to find flaws in your arguments.

What is ethos in a speech? ›

Ethos: The speaker tries to show the audience that he or she is reliable, credible, and trustworthy. The speaker also tries to build a bridge to the audience by using first-person plural pronouns (we, us). Pathos: The speaker appeals to the audience's emotions, using emotional language, sensory images, and anecdotes.

What are some pathos words? ›

Synonyms of pathos
  • sorrow.
  • heartbreak.
  • anguish.
  • heartache.
  • grief.
  • misery.
  • seriousness.
  • woe.

How do you write a good pathos paragraph? ›

Appeals to the Reader's Emotions

An effective argument from pathos will draw upon one specific emotion and target it to get a response from the listener. You may find that pathos commonly plays on darker emotions, like sadness, guilt, or anger. This isn't a rule–pathos is an appeal to any emotion!

What is an example of ethos in Malala's speech? ›

Ethos builds on the credibility of the speaker. Yousafzai claims credibility to call for education for all. She presents herself as an ordinary girl and as a representative of girls who desire an education when she writes: “I am just one of them. So here I stand, one girl among many.

How does Patrick Henry use logos in his speech? ›

Henry urges his audience to turn away from argument and raise arms instead. In an appeal to logos, Henry poses a series of rhetorical questions to his audience, asking them to consider why Great Britain would impose an army and a navy on the colonies if it were not trying to control them.

How does Frederick Douglass use ethos? ›

In Chapter 5, he uses ethos when he says “in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me…” (75). Douglass is expressing to us that he believes that he will be free one day, he will be the one to tell his own story.

How does Queen Elizabeth use pathos and ethos? ›

With the expressed purpose of mobilizing her troops, Queen Elizabeth uses pathos, ethos and logos, attempting to build a personal connection with and to encourage her people, while subtly asserting her dominance and ultimately helping them to see the necessity of fighting against…show more content…

How do you use ethos in a sentence? ›

They have a strong and distinctive ethos. They are therefore very much in tune with the ethos of public service. The culture and ethos will be preserved. There is a strong ethos of coaching in the council.

What is pathos pathos and examples? ›

Advertisers often use pathos to appeal to an audience's emotions, like making them feel sorry for their subject. They might also make their audience feel angry towards something, so that they're motivated to take action. Or they might make them laugh. That's all pathos.

How does Benjamin Franklin use pathos in his speech? ›

Ben Franklin uses the imagery of conflict (“cutting each others' throats”) to show the outcome of refusing to compromise (P3). Ben Franklin reasons that a unified Constitution will create stability among the states and project strength to foreign enemies (P4).

How does the speaker use logos? ›

Logos refers to the reasoning or logic of an argument. The presence of fallacies would obviously undermine a speaker's appeal to logos. Speakers employ logos by presenting credible information as supporting material and verbally citing their sources during their speech.

How does Frederick Douglass use logos? ›

Douglass makes a convincing argument due to his well-written, logical account. He uses sophisticated vocabulary along with specific, verifiable names and geographic locations. He writes fairly and gives credit where it is due in order to avoid accusations of unjust bias.

What are logos in a speech? ›

Logos, or the appeal to logic, means to appeal to the audiences' sense of reason or logic. To use logos, the author makes clear, logical connections between ideas, and includes the use of facts and statistics. Using historical and literal analogies to make a logical argument is another strategy.

What are the 3 logos? ›

Now that we've covered the three main types of logos (wordmark, monogram, and combination mark), we'll talk about three less common types of logos.

What are the 4 types of logos? ›

Here are four types of logo designs to consider with examples of logos we've recently designed:
  • Wordmark logo design. Office Max, Home Depot, and Walmart all represent the most commonly used type of logo — the wordmark. ...
  • Lettermark logo design. ...
  • Brandmark logo. ...
  • Iconic logo design.
9 Feb 2018

How does Malcolm Gladwell use pathos? ›

Gladwell uses pathos to convince his readers of his argument. When Gladwell asks, “How do we know when we've made the right generalization?”, he is trying to guilt his readers by persuading them to generalize or stereotype because how can they declare what is truly right in a given circumstance.

How does Emma Watson use pathos? ›

The second mode of rhetoric, pathos, is about engaging the audience at an emotional level. Watson plainly states early in her speech that “I need your help.” As such, Watson appeals to the sense of decency in her audience. She continues to do so when she speaks of the rights of women and men to be treated fairly.

How does Malala use pathos in her speech? ›

Malala uses pathos to tell her personal stories to help connect to the reader emotionally. At the start of her novel, she explains herself just like the other girls in her town. On October 9th, 2012, she got shot in the head coming back from school. She gives great details explaining…show more content…

What is pathos How was it used in this speech? ›

Pathos - The Emotional Appeal

Empathy, sympathy and pathetic are derived from pathos. Pathos is to persuade by appealing to the audience's emotions. As the speaker, you want the audience to feel the same emotions you feel about something, you want to emotionally connect with them and influence them.

What are some examples of positive and negative pathos? ›

Pathos aims to convince viewers by evoking an emotional response. This can be a positive, such the joy you would feel if you bought, say, a new pair of shoes. It can be a negative, as in, “Ouch, my back, I need a pill for relief.” And how about guilt? “Adopt this cute puppy before it's euthanized.”

Did Emma Watson have a crush on? ›

Emma Watson admitted that Tom Felton was her first crush

During the first two Harry Potter films, Watson “had a huge crush on Tom Felton”, the actress once admitted to Seventeen.

How does Patrick Henry use pathos? ›

Another example of pathos from the speech is, "For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery." The example is pathos because it makes the audience think about how bad it is being a slave. Patrick Henry wants them to fight for their freedom to get out of slavery.

How is pathos used in The Lion King? ›

He also uses pathos on the young boy to belittle him and make him feel like everyone thinks that he is not brave like his hero, his father. This makes Simba want to go to the forbidden lands to prove that he is brave.

How does Portia use pathos? ›

Portia uses pathos—appealing to an audience's emotions—in court when she is disguised as Balthazar and attempts to persuade Shylock to practice mercy and spare Antonio.

What is an examples of ethos in Malala's speech? ›

"Do you not know that Mohammed, peace be upon him, the prophet of mercy, he says, 'do not harm yourself or others. '" This is ethos because she is quoting a great leader like Mohammed to show her knowledge. We know Mohammed as a very respectful prophet.

What pathos does Martin Luther King use? ›

Martin Luther King uses pathos in his speech by sharing the experiences of African Americans who have faced discrimination and segregation. He talks about how African Americans have been “seared in the flames of withering injustice” and how they are still not free even 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

How do you write a speech ethos pathos and logos? ›

Ethos is about establishing your authority to speak on the subject, logos is your logical argument for your point and pathos is your attempt to sway an audience emotionally. Leith has a great example for summarizing what the three look like.

What are examples of logos? ›

Logos is when we use cold arguments – like data, statistics, or common sense – to convince people of something, rather than trying to appeal to an audience's emotions. Here's an example of logos in action from our man Aristotle himself: All men are mortal. Socrates is a man.

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