Narrative/dramatistic analysis of film
For this project, you are to submit a 750-1000 word analysis of a full-length film or a full season of a television series to analyze (we’ll call this the artifact). Follow APA style for the paper, and use 3 or more scholarly sources to support your work. I recommend finding the works cited in the textbook, rather than simply quoting or paraphrasing the textbook itself. Address the following questions in your analysis.
1. Can this artifact be considered rhetorical? Justify your claim by comparing it to one of the definitions of rhetoric we’ve covered this term. Keep in mind that pure entertainment isn’t generally considered rhetorical.
2. Choose one of the three dramatistic theories discussed in chapter 7 of your textbook. Explain why you think this theory is an appropriate lens through which to examine the artifact you’ve chosen.
3. Analyze the artifact using one or more of the concepts discussed in the theory you’ve chosen as a heuristic, or structure.
For example, if you’ve chosen Burke’s concept of the pentad, identify the act, agent, agency, scene, and purpose that are central to understanding the artifact you’ve chosen. Remember, you don’t have to analyze the artifact with all of the concepts in the readings! Just choose one or two that go together. If you’re stuck, here are some suggestions:
Show how the artifact illustrates Burke’s definition of man (p. 174)
Use the artifact to explain Burke’s comparison of action and motion
Show how Burke’s concept of rhetoric as identification is exemplified in the artifact
Identify each of the parts of Burke’s pentad as used in the artifact
Show how Burke’s concept of guilt and redemption explain the actions of a character in the artifact
Discuss how the artifact succeeds or fails to establish narrative probability and narrative fidelity (Fisher’s narrative paradigm)
Show how the characters in the artifact enact Bormann’s symbolic convergence theory
4. Write a brief reflection about your analysis. What did you learn about rhetoric by doing this exercise? How do you think that a different approach to rhetoric (argumentation, critical theory, linguistic reflexivity, and so on) might have given you a different understanding of the artifact?
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