Burke Essays

Kenneth Burke’s Dramatism

Life is drama; playing roles in relation to other people. Interest in the interaction of language and action. Symbolic Interactionist—Language is symbolic action. “Verbal symbols are meaningful acts from which motives can be derived (Griffin, p. 329).” “Human beings…are a symbol-creating, symbol-using, and symbol misusing animal (Littlejohn, 1978, p. 69).” A theory of Motives—why do people act (particularly rhetorically) the way they do? Assess motives. Texts/Speeches created by people to “DO SOMETHING.” Can be analyzed to determine what it is…

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