Aristotle's Use Of Ethos In Macbeth Essay

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The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, mentioned three ways by which one can persuade others: ethos, persuasion through trust in the speaker; pathos, persuasion through appeals to emotion; and logos, persuasion through appeals to logic. These three ways were used by many writers to write pieces of fiction, and by many world leaders to make history, persuading a nation to go to the battlefields. In the same sense, William Shakespeare, the writer of many well-known plays, uses these three methods as the backbone of most of his writings. One of these well-known plays, The Tragedy of Macbeth, is about a war hero, Macbeth, who ultimately murders the king of Scotland in order to take the throne. The protagonist, Macbeth, transforms from a war hero to a tyrant and continues to choose evil because he is persuaded by other characters in the play through the use of ethos, pathos, and logos, proving that the poor influence of surrounding people can result in one's own downfall.
Ethos is one of the methods used by (the) characters in the play to persuade Macbeth to make immoral decisions which will lead to his misfortune. The three witches in the play gain Macbeth's trust as they provide some partial truths, leaving Macbeth pondering, “two truth are told, as happy prologues to the swelling act of the
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Throughout the play Lady Macbeth has a great influence upon Macbeth’s decisions, including the one which begins all the bloodshed, daring Macbeth, “Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem[?]” (1.7.41). Lady Macbeth invigorates and changes Macbeth’s attitude from unwilling and ambiguous about murdering Duncan to “settled, and bend up...to this terrible feat” by using pathos, demonstrating that Macbeth chooses evil because of the flawed influence of Lady Macbeth who is leading him down to a tragic alley.

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