Visits as Performance
For Kenneth Burke, a speaker must know how to arouse the desires of an audience. This entails an understanding and utilization of the symbolic shorthand descriptions with which audiences are familiar through experience with their cultural history. However, Burke knew that this familiarity and sameness was not enough to stimulate and prod audiences toward identification with the speaker. He understood the role of dramatic tension, where difference and strangeness along with the possibility of resolution and unity entice audiences to seek communion. 1 Kathleen Jamieson notes that John Paul II's "mastery of concise, dramatic symbols" gains the attention of the audience. 2 When the verbal message is visually synopsized by these brief symbols, the memorability of the message is increased. Jamieson aptly points out that the "moving synoptic moment has replaced the eloquent speech." 3 To build identification with today's audiences, speakers need to know how to concisely dramatize images.
Dramatizing images has long been a part of the tradition of the Catholic Church. The sacraments are visible signs by which the church fuses human life with sacred reality. The "drama" involves the mixing of two distinct realms: the human and the sacred. However, in order for the drama to intensify meaning, there must be a distinctive border between the two. Commentators and journalists frequently point to John Paul II's dramatic actions during his international trips as the most effective communicating tool of this papacy. They often place these actions in opposition to his message. The pope's sympathetic and warm