Argument Analysis Essay of Saint Joan
George Bernard’s play Saint Joan was written about the life of a French woman in the late 1420’s who was on trial for spreading heresy. The Inquisitor presented a case against Joan to the juries of the church court. His argument opened with an appeal to ethos. Throughout the rest of his speech he would keep up this type of appeal, preferring the approach of ethical appeals to that of logic. Due to his lack of logical appeals, he seemed to revert to logical fallacies which had created seemingly dubious pretenses to find Joan guilty. This had weakened his argument immensely. To counteract the fallacies however, his use of figurative language had strengthened his argument enough to be thoroughly convincing. Overall, his argument was strong and well-presented and most likely had the majority convinced.
The Inquisitor had opened his argument with an ethical appeal. He stated “If you had seen what I have seen of heresy, you would not think it a light thing even in its most apparently harmless and lovable and pious origins.” (line 2-5) Within his introduction to his case he had already created a sense of authority and knowledge. His audience understands right away that he has had the experience of dealing with heresy and because of that his lack of tolerance for it is immediately respected. This opening had left his audience in a place where they could easily be swayed to his side because they already trust his authority on the subject due to his experience with it. He reassures his ethical appeal once again by stating “I have seen this again and again.” (line 16- 17) With this short and simple statement he creates credibility by reminding his audience once again that he has dealt with this not only once but multiple times. His audience now knows that his credibility does not need to be questioned because his involvement in cases similar was plenty enough to convince them of his reliability. Subsequent to his second ethical...
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