Response to “The Rhetorical Situation”

In Lloyd Bitzer’s article, “The Rhetorical Situation”, illustrates the circumstances in which a rhetorical situation is created. He states, “In other
words, there are circumstances of this or that kind of structure which are recognized as ethical, dangerous, or embarrassing” (1). These are some examples that he mentions that create such rhetorical situations. In addition, another main point he states is, “Let us regard rhetorical situation as a natural context of persons, events, objects, relations, and an exigence which┬áI strongly invites utterance; this invited utterance participates naturally in the situation, is in many instances necessary to the completion of situational activity, and by means of its participation with situation obtains its meaning and its rhetorical character” (5). This means that these circumstances create these situations where people create an audience.

One thing I found interesting was that ”Normally, the inauguration of a President of the United States demands an address which speaks to the nation’s purposes, the central national and international problems, the unity of contesting parties; it demands speech style marked by dignity. What is evidenced on this occasion is the power of situation to constrain a fitting response. One might say metaphorically that every situation prescribes its
fitting response; the rhetor may or may not read the prescription accurately” (11). There needs to be a situation that invites a fitting response to make it rhetorical. In addition Bitzer states, “Rhetorical discourse is called into existence by situation; the situation which the rhetor perceives amounts to an. invitation to create and present discourse. The clearest instances of rhetorical speaking and writing are strongly invited” (9).

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