The rhetorical strategies of Aphra Behn




Jarma, Donna Marie

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For centuries the work of Aphra Behn has been denied the recognition and credit it deserves. Through this study of her epistolary novel, Love Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister , her talents, especially with regard to the use of rhetorical devices for characterization, are illuminated. Furthermore, this study highlights Behn's contributions to the development of the English novel. Characters from the novel are divided into two categories. Examples and discussion of Behn's application of rhetorical strategies to develop each character illustrate Behn's skills. Though the novel itself is the major source of data, information trom such studies as The Growth of the English Novel [Richard Church, London: Methuen, 1957] and Women, Letters, and the Novel [Ruth Perry, New York: AMS Press, 1980] provide authority for the discussion of Behn's place in literary history. Evidence and arguments presented in this study establish Behn as a pioneer in the development of the epistolary novel and as an artist in the area of characterlzation.



Epistolary novels, Female playwrights, Characters and characteristics in literature, 17th century playwrights, Rhetoric in literature