Preaching Rhetorical Invention: Poeta and Paul in the Digby <i>Conversion of St Paul</i>
AbstractThis article evaluates the Digby Conversion of St Paul through the lens that medieval preaching affords, exposing how Poeta’s rhetoric makes the internal process of Paul’s conversion external and transparent to the audience. By uncovering Poeta’s incorporation of preaching strategies and the rhetorical principle of invention specifically, I show how Poeta’s prologues and epilogues grant Paul the ethical mobility he requires to become a believable Christian convert and preacher. Poeta’s rhetoric anticipates and validates the language of Paul’s sermon, a circumstance that prompts my reevaluation of Poeta’s role as a framing device to show instead his interactive relationship with Paul throughout the play.
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