Was Poe's short story, "The Cask of Amontillado" told using ethos, pathos, or logos?  

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Normally ethos, logos, and pathos are synonymous with rhetoric and writing or giving speeches. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle was first to categorize these three techniques in the art of giving speeches. Ethos refers to credibility; logos is logic; and, pathos provides an emotional or passionate response to the speech. In order to analyze if Poe used any of these rhetorical devices in his short story, "The Cask of Amontillado," one would have to view Montressor's point of view and determine how often, and how effectively, he uses all three. I would say that the short story does not apply logos because the reader never finds out what transgressions Fortunado allegedly passed on Montressor. Ethos certainly isn't found because the credibility of the narrator's voice is devalued by his irrational actions towards Fortunado, the victim of his wrath. The only thing that seems to motivate Montressor, then, is his passion and hurt pride. Revenge is a topic saturated with out-of-control emotions and is more logically paired with pathos than it would be to either Ethos or Logos.


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