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Burke Essay Topics & Paper Examples

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 they are trying to do. Distinguishes human “Action” from Animal “Motion” Action Motion Done on purpose;Behaviors that are non- voluntary behavior purposeful/non-meaningful e.g. Dramatism All animals and objects Peoplehave motion  Forms of ThoughtThe study of motion is mechanism Understood…