Rhetorical Theory of Bitzer

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When taking a look at Llyod Bitzer’s Rhetorical Situation I see several similarities on his positions compared with many modern well-known rhetoricians. Bitzer explains that rhetorical discourse comes into existence as a response to a situation and without a given situation there would only be communication. With that being said, I think it s appropriate to make my first argument on how this is still apparent in today’s world. Our current government was recently focusing very closely on health care reform, because it was (and still is) an apparent problem (the situation). When the government or the president addressed this issue they were practicing the art of rhetorical discourse by addressing and reacting to the given situation. Without the problem of health care reform, it is just pointless conversation occurring or what we call “small talk,” at the very least. Bitzer explains that there are three parts that make up a rhetorical situation in order for discourse to occur; exigence, audience, and constraints. The exigence is an imperfection marked by urgency; it is a defect or an obstacle. If I use the speech former President Bush gave after the 9/11 attacks as an example, he delivered those speeches due to the fact that there was a situation that required attention, or exigence. The audience Bitzer describes is to be constrained in decision and action whether the audience is yourself or an ideal mind. In this given example the audience was the American citizens, because we were capable of serving as mediators of the change with the discourse functions to produce. Finally, the constraints are what influence the rhetor and they can be brought to bear upon the audience. When an orator enters the situation, their discourse not only harnesses constrains given by the situation, but also provides additional important constraints. Since some of the standard sources of
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