ERIC Number: ED234435
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Sizing Up the Situation: Kenneth Burke's Dramatistic Frames.
Krug, Linda T.
Testing Kenneth Burke's theory on dramatistic frames, the attitudes and motivations reflected in the rhetoric of Watergate participants were analyzed in terms of literary forms: epic, tragic, comic, elegiac, satiric, burlesque, grotesque, and didactic. Nixon tried to transcend the Watergate conflict by stressing the greatness of his achievements and the nobility of his character in relation to inevitable human limitations (epic) and overwhelming circumstances (tragic). Stressing Nixon's human side, pro-Nixon editorials presented a comic framework, while anti-Nixon editorials, pointing out the contradiction between this supposed identification with all people and the claimed inviability of the Presidency, lent themselves to satire, burlesque, and didacticism. Although these last three rejection frames were most common during the Watergate era--both heightening and easing public sentiment, the occasional articles now written about Watergate generally fall into the acceptance mode--epic, comic, or tragic representations which emphasize the commonality of human experience and encourage perspective taking. (MM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Burke (Kenneth); Dramatistic Criticism; Nixon (Richard M); Watergate
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Lincoln, NE, April 7-9, 1983).