Essay about Rhetorical Appeals : A Rhetorical Appeal

Essay about Rhetorical Appeals : A Rhetorical Appeal

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During the 1700’s people in America were experiencing the great awaking. Many ministers in this period used rhetorical appeals to get across to their congregation. Jonathan Edwards was one of the most well know pastors during this time. In 1741, he preached a sermon-later titled Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God-to his congregation by using rhetorical appeals he got his point across to many unconverted men. Edwards uses rhetorical appeals: pathos, ethos, and logos to create rhetorical appeals. by using these appeals Edwards is able to reach out to his congregation and get them to realize that they are unsaved from the wrath of God, and the fiery pits of Hell.
One of the rhetorical appeals that Edwards uses in his sermon is pathos. In the NIMSI handout "Using the Persuasive Appeals" one of the appeals that they describe is pathos or appeals to the audience 's emotions. An emotional appeal evokes anger, laughter, sadness, fear, joy, pride, etc. in the reader or listener. ("Using"13). One of the rhetorical appeals that Edwards use in his sermon is fear "pathos". By using fear, he is able to get his point across to his congregation in a clearer manner. "The pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. The glittering sword is whet and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them..."(Edwards 41). By placing the unconverted men in fear Edwards can grasp their undivided attention. Edwards got them to see just how real and horrible that Hell i...


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... day! To see so many others feasting, while you are pining and perishing! To see so many rejoicing and singing for joy of heart, while you have cause to mourn for sorrow of heart, and howl for vexation of spirit.”(Edwards 44). By using logos Edwards gets the congregation to question their selves. If they can have such great happiness by trusting in God, why wouldn’t they be saved?
In conclusion, Jonathan Edwards gets many of his congregation to be converted by using rhetorical appeals: pathos, ethos, and logos. Edwards gets his congregation to see the need to be converted. Fear, happiness, imagery, biblical allusions, cause and effects, and common senses are all strong rhetorical devices used by Jonathan Edwards to get his congregation of sinners to listen to his points. He was able to get them to change their ways in order to be saved from the fiery pits of Hell.

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