The Importance Of Rhetorical Situations

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The most important aspects of Rhetorical Situations are exigence, and audience (Grant-Davie 266-270).
Without exigence, there would be no discourse. Exigence is what spur the rhetor to create discourse. It asks the questions: why is the discourse important, what is the discourse about, and how is the discourse hoping to change the situation? (Grant-Davie 266). In regard to the question of why is the discourse needed, the why asks the question “why now?”. This doesn’t always have to be something that has already happened, it can be “something that will happen, something that is about to happen, or something that might happen” (Grant-Davie 268). Exigence wants to know what the catalyst for the discourse is. For example, after September 11th 2001, discourse in regards to terrorism skyrocketed. The act of terrorism is the catalyst, or “why”, for the discourse. The “what” is the topic of the discourse; in this case, terrorism. The “how” is more complex. The “how” could vary based on the rhetor and audience. (Grant-Davie 268). A more conservative politician would suggest different ideas that a more liberal one. Rhetorical situations depend on exigence in order to exist.
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The audience can have a monumental effect on the rhetor and the discourse. The audience is whom the rhetor works with in order to achieve a solution or conclusion (Grant-Davie 270). The purpose of discourse is the “discussion of a single subject by multiple rhetor and audiences” (Grant-Davie 265). Clearly, the audience is a vital factor in rhetorical situations. Not only do the readers play an essential part, they can also play many parts. Often, these different stances taken by the audience cause the rhetor to respond in turn. The rhetoric and the audience use each other to evolve the
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