Analysis of the Inquisitors Speech

Topics: Rhetoric, Joan of Arc, Blasphemy Pages: 2 (404 words) Published: December 10, 2010
Andrew Wright
AP Lange
The Inquisitor knows his audience. He either knows them personally or just knows their type. The people in the jury are devoted to following the church and try to be pious and humble. With this speech the Inquisitor serves a double purpose: having the jury forget Joan’s piety and warning them that no matter how humble or god-loving you are, the church knows best. The multiple warnings throughout the speech are used both for warning the jury members not to do the heretical acts mentioned but also do not congratulate or empower anyone who does these things; namely Joan of Arc

The Inquisitor uses ethos to persuade the jury members that he’s seen this all before and there will always be someone committing heresy, it’s a horrible task but he’s there to expose the blasphemers. He emphasizes the fact that the church has led the war against heresy, and the church knows how to deal with it. A large portion of the monologue is dedicated to exposing the foundation of heresy and what types of people believe it. At one point he mentions that some of these sacrilegious persons are not inherently deceitful, but earnestly believe that God told them to do this or that. Whether they are truthful or not though, they still wish to twist your minds to their purpose. He warns the jury to be wary and carefully examine the testimony before them.

There are times when the Inquisitor uses pathos, but they are in short supply. He mentions that all the jury members are “You are all, I hope, merciful…” appealing to both their mercy and their pride in being compassionate. He uses pathos to convince them that Joan’s innocence and piety is not in question or relevant to the case, and to subtly suggest that even the most devoted followers may think themselves better than the church at one point; thereby securing that these followers will make an appearance every Sunday as well be copious benefactors.

The Inquisitor uses these rhetorical devices to accomplish a...
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