What are Logos in Literature ?

How many times has it happened with you that you are reading a piece of content and a line or couple of lines come in front of you that just bounce over your head? There can be a lot of reasons and different concepts behind it. One such concept can be ‘Logos’, also referred to as ‘Literal logos’. They are an important part of our daily content consumption and we come across them not only in print form but in conversations and video formats as well. And if you are more into persuasive and logical reading, then you might have come across this concept a lot of times.

But the fact is that most of us are not clear about it and most of the time we don’t know what it is and what is it trying to say. Logos are all about it and in this article, we are going to discuss all the important aspects of this concept. It covers all the things from what they are, how they can be used in different types of media, and how it helps in setting the tone of the thing. Give it a read and it will teach you a lot of new things.

Logos in Literature

What are Logos?

Now the very first question that arises is what Logos are? The term logos is used to refer to the use of logic and reasoning in crafting a piece of persuasive writing or rhetoric. In simple words, it can be said that it is an art of making a simple and light argument hugely. In real and personal life we usually try to avoid conflicts and fights and show them as small as possible. But on the other hand, a writer sometimes tries to advance an argument and effectively persuade your audience. They help in building a logical appeal and creating an appeal in front of the audience which helps in keeping them engaged.

Click here to read more about logos. They can be prominently found in argumentative writing and persuasive arguments, in addition to literature and poetry.

Logos - Excelsior College OWL
What are Logos?

Refers to this video for a much better understanding of Logos and how do you use them in your content properly to make it even more interesting and attractive

A complete brief about what are Logos

What is the Origin of Logos?

Now let’s talk about the origin of Logos. It is a greek word with a variety of different meanings including, “reason,” “discourse,” and “plea,” It shows its existence for a very long time and many philosophers like Aristotle have reflected their thoughts about it. He talked about it in his work Rhetoric, where he used logos to mean “reasoned discourse”, and says that it is also a part of public speakingAristotle considered logos one of the three main modes of persuasion alongside ethos and pathos.

Other than that many people consider it as a part of everyday life and considered that Logos superseded the other two, as the effectiveness of any argument depended on a strong logical appeal. And slowly with time Logos and its other two partners became an important part of Literature, everyday communication, and other types of media. Now it is used prominently in books and many other types of literature.

What is the Origin of Logos?

Also Read: Click here to read about Emotional Intelligence

Types of Logos

Logos means a way to prove your point and tricks that are used for doing that. There are two ways of proving the point. That is why logos are also of two types. Two different types of Logos are:

Types of Logos

Deductive Reasoning:

It is a proper scientific way and in this everything is done properly according to logic and reasoning. And in this, we conclude with the help of a few statements.

Inductive Reasoning:

In this, no scientific ways are used it uses generalized logical conclusions based on what you know or observed to be true. Observations are an important part of this and help in concluding.

What is the Difference between Logos, Pathos, and Ethos?

Logos, Pathos, and Ethos are very closely knitted concepts. They are differentiated by thin lines and paths that are used to derive the conclusion.

  • Pathos use the appeal of emotions to conclude and considers that emotions are an important part of persuasion.  Effective and economic use of pathos can help to balance out the more dry appeals to logic that logos can lead to. But few philosophers have warned that this should not be used in every situation. You can read more here.
  • Ethos are a way in which the credibility of a thing is used to conclude. It is a rhetorical appeal meant to display the speaker’s knowledge, credibility, and strong moral character. It also helps in making the ground of the argument. You can read more here.
  • Logos are the last but very important way of persuasion and in this logis are used to reach to a conclusion. They help in building a logical case and arguing methodically and sometimes ethos and logos goes hand in hand during an argument. You can read more here.
ConceptAppealWhat it uses
PathosEmotionsLiterary devices like metaphors 
LogosLogicReasoning and other logical things
EthosCredibilityKnowledge and other aspects
What is the difference between Logos, Pathos, and Ethos?

Mentioned below is a video about here important persuasion appeals and how they are used in literature

Three important persuasion skills in literature are Ethos, Pathos, and Logos and how they are used

Logos Example in Different Walks of Life

Slowly logos have become a part of every type of literature and media because persuasion is an important art these days. Mentioned below are some examples of how they are used in different kinds of literature and media like books, speeches, advertisements, newspapers, and meant other formats.

Examples in Literature

Logos are used in almost all types of literature be it dramas, plays, poems, and many others. They are in use for a very long time. Mentioned below are two of the most important examples of uses of logos in literature.

Syllabus of English Literature & Subjects 2021: BA, MA - Leverage Edu
Examples in Literature

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To kill a mocking word by Harper Lee is considered a classic. It is a literal genius and has used logos in a very prominent way. It shows a very beautiful argument between Atticus and Tom Robison. And you will get to know how logos work.

“The state has not produced one iota of medical evidence to the effect that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place. It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross-examination but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. The defendant is not guilty, but somebody in this courtroom is.”

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Yet another classic is The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. In this, he has shown why he is considered a rhetoric master. In one specific moment, Portia is arguing with someone and is giving logic after logic.

“Tarry a little; there is something else. This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; The words expressly are ‘a pound of flesh’ Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate Unto the state of Venice.”

Examples in Movies

Arguments are a very important part of cinema and undoubtedly they attract the audience the most. Mentioned below are some of the best examples of this concept in cinema.

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Examples in Movies

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter is a beauty of literature in its now and what makes it even more beautiful is that in some scenes you can see magic and logic going hand in hand. In a conversation between Hagrid and Harry, you can see good use of logic.

Harry Potter: “You’ve made a mistake, I can’t be a wizard. I mean, I’m just Harry, just Harry.”

Hagrid: “Well, just Harry, did you ever make anything happen? Anything you couldn’t explain when you were angry or scared?”

The Matrix Trilogy

The Matrix trilogy is a very good example of logic and reasoning. In a computer, you will be able to see pure intelligence and intellect and nothing other than that. In a very good conversation between Alchemist and Neo, you will be able to see a good conversation.

The Architect: “The function of the One is now to return to the source, allowing a temporary dissemination of the code you carry, reinserting the prime program. After which you will be required to select from the matrix 23 individuals, 16 female, 7 male, to rebuild Zion. Failure to comply with this process will result in a cataclysmic system crash killing everyone connected to the matrix, which coupled with the extermination of Zion will ultimately result in the extinction of the entire human race.”

Neo: “You won’t let it happen, you can’t. You need human beings to survive.”

The Architect: “There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept.”

Examples in Speeches

You need a good power of persuasion to convince people with your speeches and for that, you need to use good logos in it. And in politics, it is really important and that is why politicians use it a lot. Some good examples of the use of logic in speeches are:

Stop Scripting Your Speeches
Examples in Speeches

Donald Trump Speech

During one of his political speeches, Trump made a huge speech about America in which he cited things like the 9/11 attacks, liberal media, and many other things. Some parts of his speech were:

“So here are just a few statistics on the human toll of illegal immigration. According to a 2011 government report, the arrests attached to the criminal alien population included an estimated 25,000 people for homicide, 42,000 for robbery, nearly 70,000 for sex offences, and nearly 15,000 for kidnapping. In Texas alone, within the last seven years, more than a quarter-million criminal aliens have been arrested and charged with over 600,000 criminal offences. … Sixty-three thousand Americans since 9/11 have been killed by illegal aliens. This isn’t a problem that’s going away; it’s getting bigger.”

Sojourner Truth

Another speech that uses logos in a very prominent is Sojourner truth

“Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as many rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman!’ Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! The man had nothing to do with Him.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they are asking to do it, the men better let them.”

Examples in Advertisements

You can make people buy your product only by convincing the audience and for that, you need to put some arguments in front of them. That is why logos are used in advertisements. Some good examples are:

Whether banning advertisement is ethical or is curbing freedom of speech -  iPleaders
Examples in Advertisements

Advertisements of Apple

Apple puts things like storage and safety in front of you. And then put logical points in front of you how it is different from other mobile phones and gives you the best in different categories.

Food Companies’ Projections

Food companies run based on taste, quality, and hygiene. So in their advertisements, they show how they taste different from other brands and give you the nest in terms of quality of hygiene.

Examples in Newspapers

Reporters and columnists depend on logos to convey the logic of a story or persuade their readers. Because to tell people about something you need to tell them about various logics that goes behind it.  

A Brief History of Newspapers | Quintype Blog
Examples in Newspapers

Columns in Newspapers

A column in a newspaper is picked one topic and then tells you all about it so they give you various logic, reasons after reasons, and other credible points to prove their thing.

Child Literacy Program Argument

The child literacy program is always in talks if it is a success or failure. So in a newspaper, it was supported by various logic and statics that proved that the literacy program was a success and convinced people in favour of it.

What is an example of a logos sentence?

A good logo can strike you in a single line while some needs paragraphs to reach you. Here are some single line logos that are from old and new literature of different walks:

  • “The data is clear: this investment has consistently turned a profit year-over-year, even despite market declines in other areas.”
  • “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: we have not only the fingerprints, the lack of an alibi, a clear motive, and an expressed desire to commit the robbery… We also have a video of the suspect breaking in. The case could not be more open and shut.”
  • “It’s a matter of common sense that people deserve to be treated equally. The Constitution calls it ‘self-evident.’ Why, then, should I have been denied a seat because of my disability?”
  • “More than one hundred peer-reviewed studies have been conducted over the past decade, and none of them suggests that this is an effective treatment for hair loss.”
  • History has shown time and again that absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Why are logos important in an argument?

An argument ends only when it comes to a conclusion and it reaches a conclusion only when both the parties agree on a thing. For that logic is very important and Logos use the concept of logic to reach a conclusion for which one point leading to another point is used and that is why Logos are important in an argument. They are an important part of persuasive writing as well.

What are logos and how are they used in the speeches?

Speeches are made with the sole purpose of leaving an impact among the listeners and persuasion is an important part of it. That is why logos are highly used in speeches. When a speaker cites scientific data, methodically walks through the line of reasoning behind their argument, or precisely recounts historical events relevant to their argument, he or she is using logos and can persuade the audience.

How does logos affect the reader?

A piece of content should be in a way that convinces the readers and just not give them a blank and straightforward end to a thing. Logos add a touch of intellectual essence to the argument and makes the reader feel intelligent and smart. It helps in appealing to the intellect levels of the audience which further attracts them to read it and maintain their interest in the argument. It also gives them a sense that we have concluded because of a proper system and steps.

Everyone tries to do their best in terms of writing while some can deliver good logos some fail in it. If they don’t have the support of proper logic and evidence about the argument then it will not be of any value and will look like a foul thing to do. It is the best way to deliver a logo by supporting it with evidence.

Tell us how do you use logos in advertisements?

A customer will buy your product only when you can convenience them properly about your product and the only purpose of advertisements is to do that. That is why it becomes important for you to use logos in your advertisements. Use logic after logic after logic to tell your prospective customers about how your product is different from other things and by what logic you should buy them.

Why do you think advertisers don’t use logos as much anymore?

Over the last few years, advertisers have reduced the use of logos in their advertisement up to some extent and the reason behind that is failing in it. Sometimes an advertiser raises an argument about their product and is not able to prove it positively because of which it ends up losing the base of the audience. Not being able to deliver good logos can affect the image of the product in front of the audience.

Are logos really important to be included in a piece of content?

Reading is not only about happy moments and smooth flow. Sometimes it is important to give a touch of arguments and controversy to it. It is not important to use logos in your piece of content but they undoubtedly make it interesting. Because logos gives logic and gives a statement after statements of different reasons to prove a thing and because of it people want to know what happens next. Adding good logos to your content can make it a page-turner up to some extent.

Final Thoughts on Logos in Literature

So don’t we all aspire to learn something new every day and with this article you have achieved your target for the day? Writing good content is an art on its own and we can keep on polishing it by learning new things and writing concepts from time to time. Also, it is the power of the pen of the writer which can make the whole difference. Therefore, It can make an incident sound or appear very important and can snatch the limelight from other events by showing them a little less important. Logos is the art of presenting an argument or fight exaggeratedly so that it catches and maintains the interest of the audience.

If you also aspire to be great in this aspect then you need to sharpen this skill. By doing this you will be able to make good and catchy content. So what are you waiting for start experimenting with your writing skills and content now?

Ethos, Pathos, Logos definitions and Worksheet – Download

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