A Play on Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.


Photography and Writing By: Elizabeth Rom


Ethan, a shy five year old boy representing a rhetorical device of persuasion ethos, an appeal to character.

Patty, an active five year old girl representing the rhetorical device of persuasion pathos, an appeal to emotion.

Logan, a outgoing five year old boy representing the rhetorical device of persuasion logos, an appeal to logic.

Stranger, a middle-aged mysterious looking man whom kids are always told to never take candy from.

Narrator, a sophisticated looking person wearing black that will introduce the story.

Logan’s Mom, a straight headed woman who is Logan’s mother.

Logan’s Dad, the dad of Logan who is present but has no lines in the play.

Ethan’s Mom, the mother of Ethan who is cool under pressure and has no lines in the play.

Ethan’s Dad, the kind, strict father of Ethan.

Patty’s Mom, a plump emotional lady who is Patty’s mother

Patty’s Dad, the father of Patty who is present, but like Logan’s Dad he has no lines.

Act I, Scene I

The curtain opens to find a dark stage with a single spotlight on the narrator.


(looking up at the audience seriously)

Persuasion. Humanity’s most powerful tool and greatest weakness. Eve was persuaded to eat the Forbidden Fruit, Snow White was persuaded to eat the poison apple, but not all persuasion involves a delicious treat.

In this story of three young children we will address three other methods of persuasion. Ethos, Pathos and Logos. The three most basic ways of persuasion. Ethos,

(an additional dimmer spotlight shines on Ethan posing in the middle of the back stage as if running and looking backwards)

the appeal to one’s character, causing them to trust you because you seem trust worthy. Pathos,

( another dim spotlight is added to illuminate Patty standing still with her arms outstretched frozen from playing freeze tag looking at Ethan)

the appeal to one’s emotions, causing them to go along with you because they are emotionally moved by what you say or do.

And finally Logos,

(a dim spotlight is added to illuminate Logan posing as if running after Ethan )

the appeal to one’s reason, making them go along with you because it is the logical thing to do. Tonight, these children will have to undergo the pressure of being persuaded, and learn that it doesn’t always end with a delicious treat.

(all spotlights turn off and the narrator exits before the lights come back on illuminating the whole stage and Patty, Ethan, and Logan playing freeze tag)


(Standing frozen while Logan chases Ethan in circles)

Unfreeze me Ethan! Unfreeze me!


(Running with Logan hot on his tail)



(Tapping foot impatiently)

If you don’t unfreeze me before he tags you! Humph. If you don’t unfreeze me I wont be your friend anymore!


(picking up speed and veering towards Patty)

But, but-


Just unfreeze me!


(coming up behind Ethan and Patty tagging them both)

Ah-ha! Got you! I win!


We lost!?!


Yeah, but it’s unfair! Ethan was unfreezing me!


It is fair, those are the rules.


I don’t like this game anymore, let’s play something else.


What do you want to play?


(Running up to the top of the slide)

Save the princess! Logan, you’re the prince, and Ethan, you’re the dragon.


I don’t want to be a dragon! They’re evil!


You’ll get to breathe fire and fly.


I don’t want to breathe fire, I want to be good.


Not all dragons are bad. There is a book where a boy becomes friends with a nice dragon.


Okay, I’ll be a nice dragon.

(the kids begin to play and Stranger walks up and leans on the backyard fence watching them play)


Hello kids. Whatcha guys playing?


(waving politely)

Save the princess!


Oh, then you must be the princess.

(bowing slightly and making elaborate hand gestures)

Your majesty.




Hi, I’m Ethan! Who are you?


Me? Oh I’m your neighbor.

(points at random house to his left)

I live right there.


Oh, okay.


Do you kids like candy?


Yes! I LOVE candy.


(walking towards the fence gate)

You do? Well I have some in my car, how about you come get some?


I don’t know….


Oh come on, I think it’s your favorite.


Really! Cherry lollipops! Okay!


I like lollipops.


You do? Would you like to come get some with us?


Sure! Wait, what is your name? I’m not supposed to take candy from people I don’t know.


Oh, it’s, um…. Barry Davis.




(looking at Logan while opening the gate for the others)

How about you? Would you like some candy?



I don’t know.

(Looking down)

I don’t, I don’t know you.


Sure you do! I’m your parents’ friend! You must have been too little to remember, ha ha ha.


You’re, you’re not my neighbor. I’ve never seen you before.


Well….Well I was away for a long time on vacation. I only recently got back.

(Patty is outside of the gate, Ethan is intently watching the Stranger talk to Logan)

Come on now! I have some delicious candy in the car.

(Ethan walks out of the gate to join Patty. Logan lingers behind)


I’m not allowed outside of the gate.


Oh. Your parents won’t mind, we’re friends remember?


(turning toward the back door)

Just let me go see.


(reaching his hand out towards Logan then pulling it back quickly)

No! I mean no, ha ha ha, they already gave me permission to take you to get candy.


(running towards the house already out of the Stranger’s reach yelling over his shoulder)

They don’t let me have candy before dinner, let me ask.


(trying to hide how panicked he is)

Okay! Um, take your time!

(Speaking to Patty and Ethan grabbing their hands)

Come on, let’s go get some candy.

(Stranger pulls them off stage and all lights on stage go off as the scenery is changed)

(The sound of a door opening and closing is played and the lights come back on to reveal a sitting room with the six parents sitting around a table drinking coffee, Logan comes running in out of breath)


Hey mom, can I have some candy?

Logan’s Mom

(stopping conversation to answer Logan)

No, you haven’t had dinner yet, maybe after dinner.



But Patty and Ethan are getting candy, and you said I could have some.

Logan’s Mom


I never said that.

Patty’s Mom

(Also confused)

Patty is not supposed to be having candy.

Ethan’s Dad


We never told Ethan he could have candy.



They’re going to get cherry lollipops. So can I please go mom?

Logan’s Mom

(still confused)

Go? Go where? We don’t have any lollipops.


To the car. He has cherry lollipops in his car. Patty and Ethan went to get some.

Patty’s Mom

(quickly clutching her hand to her heart)


(Ethan’s mom pulls out her phone)

Logan’s Mom

(grasping both of Logan’s hands and looking him in the eyes)

Who was it Logan? Whose car?


Your friend, our neighbor, um….. Barry I think, he just got back from vacation.

(Patty’s mom relaxes a bit)

Logan’s Mom

(looking stunned and scared)

Our neighbor just moved away a year ago.

(All the parents stand up, except for Logan’s Mom, who is stunned, and Patty’s Mom, who has fainted, a sound of a car screeching off and speeding away plays and all the stage lights go black.)

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