Logos Pathos and Ethos in pursuasion

As a follow-up on an earlier post, I thought I would elaborate more by analysing a movie clip.

This clip is based on a real episode which occurred in the Arabian theatre of the World War 1. A young British Lieutenant Lawrence crosses the formidable Nefud desert with a small force of 50 camel riders. Here he teams up with one of the rival tribe of Howeitat. This tribe is currently is being paid by the Turks to protect the port city, but Lawrence armed with his superior negotiation skills is trying persuade him to join the cause.

The tribe was hostile to the proposal and its leader Auda has a huge ego. Hence the organization of the arguments were:
1. Ethos to build credibility.
2. Pathos to stir up the emotions and make the person more susceptible to the proposal
3. Logos to neutralize whatever reservations the tribe has and to reaffirm that the proposal makes rational sense too.

In this reenactment, Lawrence uses a team of 3 negotiators and shows a remarkable knowledge of Arabian tribes and psyche and cultural sensitivity. Their arguments could be summarized under the following 3 headings

1. The very act of crossing the desert on a camel was sufficient to prove that Lawrence and his men are fully committed and serious about the alliance. This statement helped the group to solicit a meeting/feast at the rival camp.
2. The band carried out the negotiation under the banner of Prince Feisal.
3. When accused of being a lowly servant: Auda asserts that he is paid 100 pieces of gold by the Turks, which is no servant wages. He tries to give another weak argument boasting of his fighting skills and how he distributes all his wealth amongst his people. Lawrence counteracts by correcting the fact that the tribe is actually paid 150 pieces of gold. This way the team not only is able to control Auda, but also prove their superior intelligence and connections. Also it provides them with a wonderful ground to introduce the Logos.

To raise the temperament and persuade him two statements were used.
1. The Arabs were portrayed as a tribe of slaves. Only Prince Feisal’s men are free, and are fighting for it.
2. Since the Turks pay the tribe to protect them, the tribal leader was compared with a servant. (Which made him to flare up, at which point Lawrence had to back away)
3. While Auda was talking about his achievements in the past, the 3rd person in the band taunts him by claiming that he seems old and incapable of a fight.
4. If Auda will be fighting the Turks, he will be emancipated. He should fight because it is his will, and he takes pleasure in a fight.

1. Turks have a box filled with gold at the port of Aqaba. Hence the surprise attack will make them rich.


Leave a Reply.... we want your views

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s