Textual Address: Audience Identification and Characterization
In all rhetorical situations, the relationship between speaker and audience is key. To induce cooperation and eventual identification, a speaker must know how to arouse the desires of the audience. This entails an understanding of the internal voice of the audience, that is, the symbolic meanings that have been constructed and internalized by audiences in their sociocultural settings. Edwin Black pointed out how the rhetorical critic can examine a text for "a hypothetical construct that is the implied auditor." Because actual auditors look for cues in the discourse, the critic can find in the speech text an image of how the rhetor views the audience and a "model of what the rhetor would have his real auditor become." 1
This critical approach to the text searches for patterned forms of address that bind the speaker and audience into types of associations with each other and into varying relationships with others. 2 In the view of Duncan, strategic choice of a form of address can shape the content of the intended models because this form "determines how we address each other and thus how we affect each other." 3 Inasmuch as the forms of address the rhetor uses are "a way of experiencing reality," 4 they can provide concrete clues as to how John Paul II would have his audience act as models in constructing a new vocabulary of the sacred. These forms of address can shape the content of the vocabulary by closing down on the sacred or moving out toward the secular world.