Burke’s Pentad (Dramatism). Kenneth Burke developed a critical technique called dramatism1. The foundation of dramatism is the concept of motive: the. Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic approach in speech criticism “Burke’s perspective on perspectives: Grounding dramatism in the representative. Kenneth Burke’s Dramatism. Life is drama; playing roles in relation to other people. Interest in the interaction of language and action. Symbolic.

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Symbolic Motivation

The College at Brockport: Burke’s goal is to explain the whole of human experience with symbolic interaction. Several moves that these theories have in common define the cluster:. A Grammar of Motives. Rhetoric Review4 1 For example, by analyzing public address, scholars examine why a speaker selects a certain strategy to identify with audience.

The Academy of Management Executive, 14 1 Since this happens, two individuals who experienced the same event may feel that they came up with a purpose that was not congruent. Agent The agent is the person or group of people who perform in the act.

A Comment on “Burke’s Act ” “. Motives play a crucial role in social interaction between an acting person and his or her validating audience. The structure of social hierarchy considered in terms of the communication of superiority, inferiority and equality.

Motions are behaviors that are non-purposeful and non-meaningful. The act should align with the scene. A dance in a church, for example is dranatism appropriate, though a wedding is. People who focus here believe that you need strong individuals to make things happen. It is also important when defining the scene to indicate when the act to took place. Landmark essays on Kenneth Burke.


A leaking private conversation provoked his racist and disparaging statement on African Americans. A First Look at Communication Theory.

Dramatism – Wikipedia

In this case, the agency would be a computer and scanner. Littlejohn explains that only people have actions and objects and animals have motion. The pollution is the guilt or sin. David Ling used the pentad elements to evaluate Senator Edward Kennedy’s speech in to persuade the audiences to see him as a victim of his family curse instead of the one who should be responsible for an accident which caused death of a woman.

Disciplines Techniques Principles Explanations Theories. In order for motives to be understood further, Burke presents what is knows as the Pentad. Agency Agency is the technique or method by which the agent achieve their goals. As cited in A Note on Burke on brke, the author recognized the importance of “motive” in Burke’s work. This is called a ddramatismand there are ten possible ratios within the Pentad.

Identification can be increased by the process of consubstantiation, which refers to bridging divisions between two people. Burke maintained that analyzing the ratios of a speaker’s presentation would expose the resources of ambiguity people might exploit to interpret complex problems. Kenneth Burke and New Rhetoric”. Shaping the Temporal Patterns of our Lives: Many speakers experience a combination of these two guilt-purging options. Perceived motivation for rape: As a result, by people who take action against the villains become heroized because they are confronting evil.


Some researchers, such as Robert Wade Kenny, addressed the use of the Pentad dramatksm Dramatism to look into the field of sociology.

Quarterly Journal of Speech. On these three linchpins developed a theory of human motivation as symbolic. Rhetorical Landscapes in America: This is a confession of guilt by the speaker and a request for forgiveness.

His experience and knowledge in the field of communication makes him one of the most noted of his kind and his works and materials in all of his fields will remain as a mentor for all of us.

Burke’s Five Elements of Dramatism

Identification is the basic function kenjeth sociality, using both positive and negative associations. Transcending the Sub-Stance of Dramatism. However, some basic assumptions can still be extracted to support the understanding of dramatism.

Technical Communication Quarterly, 11,