Mary Fisher Speech: Pentad Analysis - Assignment Example

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The five-part Dramatism pentad of Kenneth Burke was developed to analyze various dimensions of language. The pentad comprises of five essential elements. They include Scene, Act, Agent Agency and Purpose. In every language, whether spoken or written, these five elements will usually be exhibited. …
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Mary Fisher Speech: Pentad Analysis
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Mary Fisher’ Speech: Pentad Analysis The five-part Dramatism pentad of Kenneth Burke was developed to analyze various dimensions of language. The pentad comprises of five essential elements. They include Scene, Act, Agent Agency and Purpose. In every language, whether spoken or written, these five elements will usually be exhibited. The ‘Scene’ is the same as the setting. It is the place where an action is taking place. Scene comprises of the physical place and the contextual location. ‘Scene’ also answers the question “when”. It thus, indicates the time of the event. The second element is ‘Act’. It is the motivated action. ‘Act’ answers the question “what?” The third element, ‘Agent’, is actually the doer of the ‘Act’. ‘Agent’ can be one or more people involved in an action. An ‘Agent’ is always driven by a motive or ‘Purpose’ to act. Lastly, ‘Agency’ is the means through which an action is accomplished.
In the speech by Mary Fisher, three elements have been emphasized on by the speaker. These elements are Act, Agent and Purpose. The ‘Act’ has been depicted in various ways. Firstly, there is an act by the healthy public to stereotype the victims of AIDS in society. The speakers say, “Tonight, I represent an AIDS Community whose members have been drafted from every segment of the society”. The speaker is very bitter with this act and the entire speech revolves around it. That is why she keeps urging the public to accept the AIDS victims. There is also an act of silence, from both the relative of the victims and the victims themselves. “You are positive, but you dare not say it. You have lost loved ones, but you dare not whisper the word AIDS”. Secondly, the speaker has given much focus to ‘agent’. Here, she referred to the general public as taking part in the act of stereotyping. She says of the general public, “We have killed each other with our prejudice”. The last emphasis was on ‘Purpose’. Mary Fisher states her motive right from the beginning of her speech: “I have come to bring our silence to an end; I bear a message of challenge”. Her purpose was to change the attitude of the public towards AIDS victims and also empower the victims. These elements of pentad have appropriately fitted the situation described by the speaker.
In the speech, there exists a guilt-redemption cycle. Here, the speaker wants to redeem herself from the negative perception of the public. Inside her, she is burning with guilt. She thinks that everyone does not want to associate with her. Therefore, she pleads with the audience not to blame her for her situation. She says, “I would never have asked to be HIV positive, but I believe that in all things there is a purpose”. For that matter, she pleads with the society to accept her back; “People with HIV have not entered some alien state of being. They are human”. Acceptance is her biggest desire here. This line also expresses how the speaker wishes the public could identify with her. By saying “They are human” she meant that she is still one of us despite her situation. She has not lost her identity. She has also used devil terms such as “We have killed each other with our prejudice” to make the audience see their wickedness. The pentad elements have made this speech very persuasive and the goals are likely to be achieved.
Mary Fisher Speech to the 1992 Republican National Convention. Retrieved from  Read More
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