Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Rhetorical Devices

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Activity Overview


Douglass’s narrative is more than an interesting account of his difficult life. Written two decades before slavery was outlawed, the narrative was intended as a powerful argument against slavery. In making this argument, Douglass employs a number of effective rhetorical devices, including the appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos. Storyboarding can help students concretely identify examples of these and demonstrate understanding not only of Douglass’s argument, but also of the craftsmanship behind the argument. For this three-square storyboard, have students identify and depict an example of each of the three Aristotelian components of rhetoric. Below each depiction, they should explain their reasoning and/or include other written examples as space allows.


Ethos, Pathos, Logos in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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.


PATHOS

Douglass describes the cruel beatings slaves received in vivid detail. His eloquent language inspires pity in the reader. His accounts are most powerful when he describes witnessing the abuse of others as a terrified child. He writes, "No words, no tears, no prayers, from his gory victim, seemed to move his iron heart from its bloody purpose...I was quite a child, but I remember it. I shall never forget it whilst I remember anything."


ETHOS

Douglass's narrative begins with a preface by well-known abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and a letter from abolitionist Wendell Phillips. These respected men act as witnesses, testifying to Douglass's good character. Douglass also builds his credibility by refusing to believe in superstitions and depicting himself as a hard-working, intelligent, church-going Christian.



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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows examples of ethos, pathos, and logos from the text.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify one example of each rhetorical strategy: ethos, pathos, and logos.
  3. Type the example into the description box under the cell.
  4. Illustrate the example using any combination of scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.
Ethos Pathos Logos Template

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