Comm401

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  • Topic: Rhetoric, Dependent clause, Independent clause
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  • Published : May 8, 2013
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COMM401
Tensions in defining rhetoric
* Substance versus surface
* Literal versus figurative
* Stable situations versus unstable situations
* Normal versus poetic
* Argument versus style
* Everyday versus rare
* Reflective versus constructive
Rhetoric
* “…that power which, of all the faculties which belong to the nature of man, is the source of most of our blessings.” Isocrates * Plato: “rhetoric is the knack of producing pleasure in the audience” * Aristotle: “Let rhetoric be {defined as} as ability, in each case to see the available means of persuasion” * Cicero: “speech designed to persuade”

* Kenneth Burke “the use of language as a symbolic means of inducing cooperation in beings that by nature respond to symbols” * Campbell & Burkholder “persuasive discourses, written and oral, encountered face-to-face or through the electronic or print media, that seek to affect attitudes and actions” * Richard Weaver “We have no sooner uttered words than we have given impulse to other people to look at the world, or some small part of it, our way” * Lloyd Bitzer “rhetoric is am ode of altering reality, not by the direct application of energy to objects, but by the creation of discourse which changes reality through the mediation of thought and action” Rhetorical Criticism

* Analyzing and explaining the persuasive functions of public discourse Elements of Criticism
* Describe: What do I see? What is this thing made of? What are its parts? * Interpret: What does it do? How does it work?
* Evaluate: How well does it do it? Is it good/bad, beautiful/ugly, likeable/objectionable Bottom of Page 5 in Bitzer Article… (in our own words)
1) Response to situation, own thought
2) Context plays a major role in solution as well
3) In order to have an answer there must be a question, in order to have a rhetorical situation there must be something to be talked about, a problem → a rhetorical situation exists as a necessity of rhetorical discourse 4) Sometimes the topic isn’t dire… importance depends on relevance to what the audience wants… topics or issues can die due to this 5) As long as the rhetoric invokes thought that is okay even if these thoughts are not necessarily reality 6) Discourse needs to be a function in order to be rhetorical → rhetorical discourse speaks to what the situation is about

What is a Rhetorical Situation? (Bitzer Article)
• “Those contexts in which speakers or writers create rhetorical discourse” (p. 1) • “A natural context of persons, events, objects, relations, and an exigence which strongly invites utterance” (p. 5) • “A complex of persons, events, objects, and relations presenting an actual or potential exigence which can be completely or partially removed if discourse, introduced into the situation, can so… bring about the significant modification of the exigence” (p. 6) • Exigence: urgency, a problem that needs to be solved → “imperfection (problem) marked by urgency (there is a demand)

3 Components of Bitzer’s Rhetorical Situation:
• Exigence
• Audience
• Constraints
• [Resources]

Where do Constraints and Resources come from?
• 1) Rhetor’s prior ethos
• 2) Topic
• 3) Persuasive Field
• 4) Medium (channel, how the message is being transported) • 5) Setting
• Example: trying to get someone to donate money, if the person has already donated, that is a resource, what the person is wearing is a resource • Example: constraint is whoever is competing to also get donations from that person

Anita Hill’s Rhetorical Situation
* Exigence, Audience, Constraints/Resources Topic, Rhetor, Persuasive Field, Medium, Setting * Clarence Thomas, an alleged sexual harasser, was about to become part of the Supreme Court. * Audience: Must have power to make a change that will reduce or eliminate the exigencies (the problem) * Senate in this case

* Media as rhetorical audience because they may impact the senate...
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