Backbiter and the Rhetoric of Detraction
In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:
This essay will look at the development of one proto-Vice figure, Backbiter, as he appears in two East Anglian playtexts from the fifteenth century.1 The Castle of Perseverance and the N-Town "Trial of Joseph and Mary" share this character, and although his roles in the two plays are not the same, his functions derive from the same potentialities-potentialities enlivened by rhetoric. This examination will begin by discussing the earlier Castle of Perseverance and follow with a discussion of the N-Town "Trial" play in an effort to show the impact of the dissident quality of Backbiter's rhetoric-indeed, Backbiter as rhetoric-upon the operations of the plays.
Hayes, Douglas W.
"Backbiter and the Rhetoric of Detraction,"
Comparative Drama: Vol. 34
, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/compdr/vol34/iss1/3