Rhetorical Ethos In Elizabeth Browning's Pleading Letter To Napoleon III?

Improved Essays
In Elizabeth Browning’s pleading letter to Napoleon III, Elizabeth uses many rhetorical devices in order to convince the Emperor of France to pardon Hugo. She flatters His Majesty Napoleon III in an attempt to win his goodwill. Second, she uses syntax in order to create an intelligent letter. Finally, she thoroughly explains her purposes to Napoleon. Thus using flattery, syntax, and logos, Browning was able to effectively persuade Napoleon III to pardon Hugo,had of course he sent the letter.

Browning uses flattery to get off to a good start with Napoleon III. Is this common for the circumstances of her time? The answer can be best described by: yes. She was writing this letter in Britain to an emperor who ruled over France and her colonial
…show more content…
Logos is one of the three basic rhetorical appeals. Logos refers to logic Ethos to the credibility of the author, and Pathos to the emotion of the audience. She refrains from Ethos since she has as she said in lines 2-3“except that of the weakest on the strongest” and in lines 4-5 “and as named itself little among English poets is unknown to your Majesty”. Thus she can not use Ethos, and Pathos would not fit into the context of the letter. The reason being that she said in lines 20-22 of her relationship with Hugo “I have no personal knowledge of this man; I have never seen his face”. Thus the use of Pathos to appeal to Napoleon's emotions is questionable, at most. As for Napoleon's own felling, Napoleon himself banished Hugo for his critical writing against Napoleon's regime. Thus only Logos can be used, and this she uses well. “Disprove him by your generosity” in line 54, she means here to explain that if Napoleon releases Hugo then Hugo will have no proof that Napoleon is a tyrant or evil since he himself would have been a beneficiary of Napoleon's generosity. “Let no tear of an admirer of his poetry drop on your purple” in lines 54-56, here Browning also claims that with the pardoning of Hugo it will make Hugo lose his credibility as an opposition to Napoleon, for why else would Napoleon have released him after banishing him? She also addresses the fact that she, as a woman, did not send a letter to Empress Eugenie, his wife. “Naturally I would have preferred as a woman to have addressed them through the mediation of the tender-hearted Empress Eugenie,- but as a wife myself, I felt that it would be harder for her majesty to pardon an offense against Emperor Napoleon, than the Emperor himself”. Thus she effectively used Logos in order to convince Napoleon that he should pardon

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Though he is not taught about in schools, he was one of America’s first celebrities. There were even gloves made with his face embroidered on them. Upon seeing one on the hand of a lady, he refused to kiss her hand saying ‘I would rather not kiss myself’, or something to that extent. He made his dislike for the Bourbon Restoration quite clear. As a loyal republican, it was impossible for him to support a Chambers of Deputies that was so restrictive.…

    • 1003 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Rhetorical Strategies Used in E. B. Browning Letter In her letter to the French Emperor Napoleon III, Elizabeth Barrett Browning formulates a very convincing argument by the use of her rhetorical devices such as a pathos appeal to her subject, alliteration; a repetition of words, imperative sentences, asyndeton, and similes as methods of persuasion in order to convince Napoleon to pardon Victor Hugo. Browning attempts to undermine her own authority and lack of title, as a means to show Napoleon that she acknowledges that he [Napoleon] is the superior, stronger of the two. She is very modest in her approach as she states "Probably my very name as the wife of an English poet and as named itself a little among English poets, is unknown to your…

    • 769 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Except where it touched upon her own life she had no interest in Party doctrine” (138). Julia does not care about anything (including Winston) except for her own well being. In fact, she rebels just for the sake of herself rather than for the future generations. Also, Julia is content to live in the moment and focus the present, while Winston, on the other hand, has political interests to prove that the past is better than the present. Moreover, Winston attempts to prove that the Party is corrupt and overthrow the government for the future generations, which demonstrates that the interests of Winston and Julia are totally different.…

    • 662 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Additionally, Napoleon 's troops were able to dissolve the crumbling Holy Roman Empire. Napoleon reorganized the once Holy Roman Empire into a confederacy of German states. In 1804, he even went as far as to crown himself emperor of the massive empire of territories he had accumulated. Furthermore, Austria, Prussia, and Russia were forced to ally with Napoleon. Through his conquests, Napoleon was able to establish French hegemony in Europe.…

    • 1108 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Although Loyalist rhetoric outlasted the Radical party’s short-lived Francophilia, there was nevertheless a period of French consideration and rivalry. Emmy Vincent Macleod’s “British Attitudes to the French Revolution” focuses on this period by way of the leading, non-governmental writers during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods of France. In her essay, Macleod touches on the same Loyalist-Radical disagreements as Semmel, but she further critiques them to show that there was no simple delineation between the two parties in regards to Napoleon’s character. “[F]or all the enormous volume and poison of British anti-Napoleon propaganda,” she writes, “in the end it failed to extinguish a sneaking admiration in Britain for the French emperor” (696). Loyalist propaganda was more pervasive than Radical writings and was inherently safer to read during a time of conflict when “only opponents of the [Napoleonic] war itself voiced criticisms of the management of the British war effort, because for anyone else to have done so would have raised doubts about their commitment to the pursuit of the conflict” (Macleod 696).…

    • 1575 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jake Garmo Block 5 AP English Language A Song of Ice and Fire: Game of Thrones Important Quotes: “He was no dragon, Dany thought, curiously calm. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” Even with all the abuse Viserys caused his sister, Daenerys not only loved Viserys as her brother but as the true king as well, up until his death. By calling Viserys an imitation dragon, she is saying that he was no true king at all. A dragon cannot die from fire as Viserys did. In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, proclaiming yourself a king without claim, or a usurper, is outrageous and will breed little support for your claim to the throne.…

    • 993 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Theme Of Honor In Antigone

    • 1022 Words
    • 5 Pages

    By the end of this greek tragedy, it becomes clear that all the deaths could have been prevented if Creon had a sooner change in heart. It is because of Creon’s decisions of establishing a law of not burying the body of Polyneices along with as locking up his niece Antigone to her death, does he test and anger the powerful, sacred law of the gods. At the end, even though he was given the honor to rule over Thebes, Creon did not earn honor for he didn’t follow his morals and placed himself above anything else, even above the sacred laws of the gods. On the other hand, Antigone gained honor from the people and gods as she followed her gut and morals in making the bold move against the governing law. In conclusion, Sophocles writes this tragedy to show to his audiences that placing your morals and following what you believe in is worth fighting for, even if it is against the governing law.…

    • 1022 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Gilman announces that John does not know the suffrage of Jane’s condition (87). Schumaker argues that Jane “does not hide things” out of spite, but rather as a result of his “lack of acknowledgement” (Schumaker). On the contrary to Uncle Oscar witnessing and playing part to the gambling addiction, Jane is the only one with knowledge of the brutality of her illness. She even goes to the extreme of pretending to go to sleep to keep John’s sister from checking on her (98). The secrecy seems to act as an avoidance to worry, but rather to keep another family member happy in these…

    • 1447 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Yes, I do believe that Hemingway may have been foreshadowing the outcome of the novel. You can look at this from different points. One way you could look at this is from Henry’s point of view from the war. Henry doesn’t follow his religious views and instead goes and fights in the war. Henry’s experience goes with the quote “we did not do the things we wanted to do; we never did such things.” because we learn that Henry hates war.…

    • 1222 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Several people defying authority and revolting is a revolution. In the play Antigone, Antigone does not have any desire to change the laws. Even though, the king declares that no one should bury Polynieces; Antigone does. Though, she does not provoke a change in the laws and has no supporters to back her up. The French Revolution was the exact opposite.…

    • 1518 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays