Barthes The Rhetoric Of An Image

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Over time, many items and industries have come and gone as technology has changed. The idea of advertising, persuading someone to buy your product or service, that is, has been around for a while and is not going away any time soon. Although the medium which is used to relay advertisements has changed with the advent of digital technology, print advertisements remain print advertisements. In his essay, “The rhetoric of an image”, Barthes identifies three primary components that form the message of an image. In this paper, I will use Barthes aspects of an image to analyze a Davidoff cologne print advertisement in order to describe the message of the image.
Barthes sets out to determine how meaning gets into an image and whether an image is the
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It is compromised of any writing that is in or alongside the image. This includes captions, headings, titles, and labels. Barthes notes that with the “level of mass communications, it appears that the linguistic message is indeed present in every image” (Barthes 37). His point proves the rarity with which writing is absent from an image and therefore, its importance. Barthes divides the linguistic message into two parts; a denoted and connoted message (Barthes 33). Barthes identifies the denoted message as the literal words that appear on the image. This message does not factor in anything pertaining to the viewer’s perceptions or expectations. In the case of the Panzani advertisement, the denoted message is the labels of the food in the advertisement. The foods are now clear to the viewer. The only knowledge required, as Barthes puts it, is to “decipher…writing and French” (Barthes 34). Barthes emphasizes that this message anchors the image by identifying the objects within the image. (Barthes 38) Specifically, it eliminates any possible ambiguity created by the content of the …show more content…
Additionally, they are seen simultaneously, making them harder to separate. The second message derived from an image is an iconic coded message. According to Barthes, this message takes what the viewer sees on the image in conjunction with other perceptions and expectations. It requires cultural knowledge, just as the connoted message did. In Barthes’s Panzani example, the “signified which itself implies two euphoric values: that of the freshness of the products and that of the essentially domestic preparation for which they are destined.” (Barthes 34). Barthes argues that the visuals on the image signify much more than what is shown. They are assumed to be fresh, of the upmost quality, and part of a larger meal. All these qualities are inferred by the audience, yet none are directly given within the visual. This is what makes this message the iconic coded, and not

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