Persuasive Text Analysis Lips of an angel

Persuasive Subtext

Tells us how Relationships are "supposed" to work

Presents a couple that is heterosexual and monogamous through the use of both visual images and lyrics.

"My girl's in the next room, sometimes I wish she was you"
"But girl you make it hard to be faithful, with the lips of an angel"
We see him and his current girlfriend holding hands

Tells us that women are supposed to be protected by men

Here we see him holding his girlfriend
"Does he know your talking to me? Will it start a fight? No, I don't think she has a clue."
"I gotta whisper because I can't be too loud."

Burke's Dramatic Pentad

Burke believed that our language revealed our motives (situation) and that the way that we view the world depends on how we define these motives.

This means that we all frame situations in certain ways and that the way that we frame things reveals something about how we view the world.

Five Parts to the Dramatic Pentad

  1. Act: what is being done?
  2. Agent: the person who is doing the act.
  3. Agency: how the action is occuring
  4. Scene: the setting/background for the action to take place
  5. Purpose: reason behind said action

Burke believed that persuaders can use language to structure the view that audience members have of the world.

This means that we can examine the way that persuaders use language to see how they are trying to shape the worldview of their audience and what they are really saying.

Lips of an Angel and Burke's Pentad


Talking on the phone with an past lover, while his current lover sits in the background.


The agent here is the lead singer of Hinder: Austin Winkler.


The means by which he is talking to his ex is occurring over the phone, in his apartment late at night with his current girlfriend sitting waiting for him to return. He also holds a picture of his ex as he talks to her.

He is sitting at his desk holding a picture of his ex and talking to her over the phone.


The setting of this takes place is his small apartment in the middle of the night. The desk is cluttered with several artifacts and his most treasured item: his ex's picture. We see his current girlfriend sitting in the background combing her hair and putting on lotion. She is most likely getting ready for bed.

His girlfriend is getting ready for bed and is trying to figure out why he is on the phone so late at night.


He is on the phone with his ex because she called him. They are both engaging in the conversation because they have unresolved feelings for each other and still "dream" of each other. We see the unresolved feelings in his flashbacks to her and him together, him holding her picture, and in the fact that he tells her that he still dreams about her.

Flashback to his ex.


Ultimately, all of these elements of the pentad come together to persuade us and in looking at artifacts in this manner we are able to uncover several things that persuaders are trying to communicate to us and influence our worldviews on. Here we see that even though his ex has the "lips of an angel" and he and her still have unresolved feelings, he makes it clear that he has a new girlfriend.

Through the act of talking to her on the phone we learn that he still has feelings for his ex and that she does as well. We learn about their past relationship through flashbacks and pictures.

However, even after all of this, he remains with his current girlfriend and she remains with her current boyfriend.

This all communicates that relationships are meant to be monogamous and that faithfulness is an important component in relationships. This also communicates that relationships are between men and women since we only ever see depictions of relationships between a man and a woman throughout the video,

Furthermore, it communicates the need to be protective of women, since he is still concerned about his ex getting in a fight with her new boyfriend, he is worried about his current girlfriend hearing the conversation, and he is depicted holding his ex.

All-in-all, we see that through looking at this artifact through Burke's Dramatic Pentad we begin to uncover persuasive elements that are not readily seen. We are able to see the persuasive subtext that attempts to influence the audience's worldview.

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