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Burkean analysis, developed by literary theorist Kenneth Burke (1897–1993), is an analytical method that is concerned with how language and signs function as forms of symbolic action in the world. This entry explains some of the general themes and motivations behind Burkean analysis, beginning with general principles before proceeding with particular references to concepts drawn from earlier phases of his work. Because some of the more recognizable terms of Burkean analysis, for example terministic screens, dramatism, and pentadic analysis, which he developed later in his career, are addressed elsewhere in this encyclopedia, this entry offers a focused review of two central modes of Burkean analysis: perspective by incongruity and the psychology of form. The entry concludes by surveying potential future applications of Burkean analysis.

General Themes ...
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