Êthos in Isaeos.
These examples will illustrate what it is needful to see clearly—that, in matter of expression, the difference between Lysias and Isaeos is one, not of diction, but of composition. They will always show how far, and in what sense, Isaeos sacrifices êthos to his more trenchant and metallic emphasis: it is the portrayal of the ingenuous youth or the plain man, the ἰδιώτης
, that is damaged in point of art. So far from its being true that êthos is wanting in the speeches of Isaeos, there is perhaps only one of them—the third—in which it is not an effective element; and, in the third speech, the reason of its absence is simple—there is no room for it: all is argument. In the moral persuasion of vigorous insistance, of reasoned remonstrance, or of just indignation, Isaeos is at least equal to Lysias. It is in the attraction of a guileless and gracious simplicity that he is inferior. Where Lysias would have said, It is shameful
, Isaeos says, It is absurd1