Christopher Lara response to “The Rhetorical Situation” by Lloyd Bitzer

In Lloyd Bitzer’s article, “The Rhetorical Situation”, he brings up the elements that take part in rhetorical situation, he defines and breaks down his thoughts towards the circumstances in which rhetorical discourse is created. Blitzer states that rhetorical situations are defined by ” the context in which speakers or writers create rhetorical discourse.”, he also mentions that a rhetorical situation can change depending how people decide to respond to it. Blitzer provides a theory that consists of three key elements, exigence, audience, and constraints. Exigence, “it is a defect, an obstacle waiting to be done…”, however, it is not rhetorical when it can not be altered by human interaction, it is rhetorical when it is capable of creating positive change. Audience, this consists of the people who are capable of being influenced by the discourse, the discourse encourages change through the audience’s decisions and actions. Constraints are the people, events, and objects which may limit the change called upon by the discourse.

Lloyd mentions that “Rhetorical discourse is called into existence by the situation; the situation which the rhetor perceives amounts to an invitation to create and present discourse.” . This interested me when I first began reading this article because it made me stop and think. I realized that a change can not occur unless there is a situation at hand. The situation is what creates the discourse, rather than the discourse creating the situation. I found this is very relatable to issues going on in today’s world such as, gun laws, many protests involving equality for woman and minorities.



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