preview

God in the 'Devil’s Territories:' Mather's Use of Rhetoric in Wonders of the Invisible World

Decent Essays
Mather, a preacher, theologian, and historian, exercised great authority in early New England, and still retains some of that authority today, for his clear depiction of the area’s history. Authority is a large part of Mather’s argument in Wonders of the Invisible World, used in his logos, his logical arguments, and his extrinsic ethos and intrinsic ethos, and he often uses religion as proof of his authority, with references to America as the ‘Devil’s territories’ and the Puritans as God’s chosen, and all three rhetoric principles are used and interconnected.
Cotton Mather uses both extrinsic (his expertise, education, and authority in the subject) and intrinsic (how he writes) ethos to reinforce his authority on the subject on which
…show more content…
In this implication Mather also implies that the Puritans were of the same stock as the religious figures in the Bible. But what is odd about the way he is arguing his point is that he does not appear to be arguing; he appears to be merely stating facts. As he says near the end of A People of God in the Devil’s Territories, “I report matters not as an advocate, but as a historian,”, saying also, “You are to take the truth.”. And yet, these facts seem tailored to convince the people, if they have not already been convinced, of the guilt of the people accused as witches. He uses ‘claim of consequence’, a form of logos that states that one thing is caused by another, to show us the guilt of Martha Carrier, accused of witchcraft. For example, the paragraph that states, “Benjamin Abbot gave his testimony that… this Carrier was
Get Access