Essay on Drama: Rhetoric and Theorist Kenneth Burke

Submitted By elizabethcollin
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Weekly Blog 6 Chapter six of Rhetorical Theory examines rhetoric as it relates to dramatism. The chapter opens by providing a real world example of a dramatistic theory, followed by some of the beliefs by theorist Kenneth Burke. According to Burke, “Dramatiscm is a method of analysis and a corresponding critique of terminology designed to show that the most direct route to the study of human relations and human motives is via a methodical inquiry into cycles or clusters of terms and their functions.” Simplified, this means that the nature of rhetoric is symbolic, creates hierarchies, and can achieve negative or perfect connotation associated with it. Rhetoric can also lead to guilt and identification, whether obvious or direct. While these are all theories by Burke, theorists such as Walter Fisher developed the dramatistic theory of Narrative Paradigm, and Ernest Bormann spoke of individuals using rhetoric form common ways of viewing the world. One interesting concept that chapter six covers is the pentad. The pentad is essentially the motivation that a rhetor has for a given situation. As the book states, it is a “tool of analysis that lets us trace how our worlds are constructed through rhetoric.” As described by Burke, this pentad has several elements that make it work. The act is what is discussed by the rhetor when they communicate, or what is significant. The scene is the context or background of the given situation, and is typically seen as…