Edit The Dramatistic Pentad is an instrument used by the critic to discover how the speaker convinces the audience to accept his view of reality. This is done through the five key elements of human drama — act, scene, agent, agency, and purpose . What was done Scene:
This approach is important to communication theory because a primary use of symbols occurs through language. Such a focus Dramatistic pentad the symbolic uses of language to influence is inherently rhetorical. In addition, dramatism seeks to understand the human world as a symbolic world of drama in which language is a strategic, motivated response to specific situations.
As such, language is viewed as a mode of symbolic action rather than a repository of knowledge, and the use of language or other symbols to induce cooperation among human beings is the focus of investigation. To develop the concept of dramatism further, this entry will look at the contributors to and key assumptions of dramatism and its associated method, the dramatistic pentad.
Introduced by literary theorist Kenneth Burke in the early s, dramatism has penetrated many disciplines, including political science, sociology, Dramatistic pentad criticism, rhetoric, organizational communication, and interpersonal communication. Dramatism continues to develop as an aid to understanding the complexity of human symbol use.
Several assumptions undergird dramatism, the most important of which is the understanding of human beings as symbol-using animals.
Humans create symbols language is the most obvious example of a human symbol systemrespond to symbols, and understand their circumstances through symbols. It is by way of symbols that humans have the unique ability to conceive of the negative or the absence of something.
Symbols function to create and sustain hierarchies of power and identification among dissimilar groups. Symbols also allow for incongruities, such as creating the conditions for conflict while simultaneously unifying individuals to resist conflict. Another assumption is that human interaction can be approached as a drama, hence the name dramatism.
For Burke, the relationship between life and theater is literal rather than metaphorical. Humans enact real roles on live stages as they attempt to impact others. These dramas guide the ways that individuals, groups, and organizations conduct their behaviors.
Dramatism also acknowledges that human beings act rather than move. The distinction between action and motion is that human beings make choices to act, often through symbols, while animals, plants, and other physical objects simply engage in motion.
This human choice to act is the basis of all human motivation. Thus, symbols become sites for discovering motivation.
Finally, dramatism suggests that symbols form a grid or screen through which the world is viewed. Such terministic screens select or favor some realities and deflect others; doctors arriving at the scene of a car accident will look first for injuries because of the medical terministic screen operating for them; lawyers, while equally concerned with injury, will also note possible factors of blame because of the terministic screen implicit in their training.
The terministic screens through which we apprehend our worlds have larger implications as well; they bristle with embedded values that, in turn, form belief systems or ideologies.
These ideologies filter our understanding of others, our communication to them, as well as our choices of action. The dramatistic pentad is the key model used by critics to analyze human use of symbols in communication. The pentad is made up of five elements or terms hence the name pentad: These five terms answer the what, where, who, how, and why of human communication.
The act serves a pivotal place in the pentad because human society is fundamentally dramatic or driven by action. Later, Burke suggested that incipient act, or the first steps toward the act, can substitute for the act in pentadic analysis.
The incipient act recognizes the vital connection between thought and behavior.
He also later added a sixth term, attitude, to further clarify the manner in which the agent approached the doing of the act. While all human use of symbols in communication shares the same elements or terms, the proportion of those terms varies.
Often, pairs of terms, or ratios, surface to dominate communication. For example, when communication focuses on what occurred and who performed the action, a ratio of agent—act dominates, or surfaces.
For example, in a courtroom, a prosecuting attorney might argue that the accused did indeed unlawfully enter a house—an agent—act ratio.
The defense attorney might prefer to make use of a scene—agent ratio instead, arguing that the accused came on a house with the door broken in and entered to see if there was a problem; in this case, scene dominates the act.
Application of the dramatistic pentad also helps to identify the ideology or worldview from which the communicator constructs the message. Generally, one term of the pentad dominates the communication, providing an ideology that accompanies it.
If the act is the central term of the communication, then the form of the communication is realism. In such communication, active language such as verbs would dominate. On the other hand, if the central term is the scene or the setting for the action, we are urged to view the drama as dominated by the material situation, or materialism.
If the agent, or the actor in the drama, is featured, then idealism is the corresponding orientation. Agency and purpose both locate the importance of the drama in how action is accomplished.The importance of this volume in terms of rhetorical criticism is Burke's development of the dramatistic metaphor/method in general, and the basic terms of analysis with the dramatistic pentad: Act, Scene, Agent, Agency, and schwenkreis.coms: 8.
Pages in category "Narratology" The following pages are in this category, out of total. This list may not reflect recent changes ().
The effects of training with Burke's dramatistic pentad on the coherence and certain cohesive characteristics of the compositions of basic writers. Dramatistic pentad topic. The dramatistic pentad forms the core structure of dramatism, a method for examining motivations that the renowned literary critic Kenneth Burke developed.
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