Manuscript culture in the west was always marginally oral, and, even after print, textuality only gradually achieved the place it has today in cultures where most reading is silent. . . . Probably most medieval writers across Europe continued the classical practice of writing their literary works to be read aloud. This helped determine the always rhetorical style as well as the nature of plot and characterization.
Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word, 158.