From Address to Debate: Generic Considerations in the Debate Between Soul and Body
Brent, Justin J.
Comitatus Vol.32 (2001)
Introduction: Although many scholars think of debate as a distinctively medieval genre, just about every culture known to man has composed verbal contests of wit that might be termed debates. Their universal appeal results at least in part from two inherent features. One is the excitement and suspense that comes from observing a contest between two skillful opponents. Like spectator sports, verbal contests provide a vicarious pleasure for the audience, which shares the suspense of the contest with the two or more opponents. The second aspect, more frequently discussed by students of medieval debate, is the tendency towards opposition.