A Rhetorical Analysis Of John Oliver

Decent Essays
Pathos: Pathos refers to an appeal to emotions. It is used to persuade an audience by provoking an emotional response. In the very beginning of the video, Oliver features a couple pictures of cats while referring to the internet as an electronic cat database. He is taking advantage of the fact that many people adore cats and is attempting to elicit feelings of joy and happiness as he begins to discus how amazing the internet is.

Mythos: Mythos refers to the "...interrelated set of beliefs, attitudes, values, and feelings held by members of a particular society."(Birkholt, 2017) In the video, around 5:09, Oliver metaphorically compares the collaboration of activists and corporations to the collaboration of Lex Luthor and Superman. Most
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John Oliver is a reputable television personality and has had his own show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, since 2014 where he takes a comedic approach to commenting on politics and current events. That plays into his initial credibility however, he builds upon that in order to earn credibility by exhibiting charisma. According to our textbook,"Charisma is a word that is frequently used to describe people who are particularly effective public speakers; it is a certain magnetic quality involving a persuader’s ability to command and compel an audience." At around 1:02 in the video above, you can hear the audience roaring with laughter as Oliver was able to command his audience with a comment on the boredom associated with net neutrality.

Logos: Logos refers to the logistical side of a persuasive speech. In the graph featured in the video that is shown below, Oliver is appealing to the Logos proof and is attempting to persuade the audience through reasoning. The graph shows the significant change in Netflix download speed on Comcast during the negotiation, and after Netflix agreed to Comcasts demands. Oliver is using this as an example of when a telecom company has altered a websites speed in order to get more money out of them which is enhancing his
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