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"Grimbeert's Defense of Reinaert in Van den Vos Reynaerde. An Example of oratio iudicialis?"
E. Rombauts
in Aspects of the Medieval Animal Epic, Louvain: Leuven University Press, 1975, 129-142

"What Meiners and Jacoby have to say about Reinaert's so-called confession applies, in my opinion, to an even greater extent to Grimbeert's defense of the fox. The two orations are, for that matter, closely related. Reinaert's self-defense is, so to speak, an extension of Grimbeert's plea. The position of the latter piece in the first part of the epic is just as important as the fox's confession in the final portion. ... Despite its great significance this passage has not received the attention it deserves. Only legal historians ... have elucidated its judicial importance. The literary value of this plea, however, needs to be more closely defined. This can be done in two ways: first, by illuminating the functional nature of this fragment within the structure of the poem; second, by examining to what extent this speech, in the spirit of the above mentioned theoretical writings, can be regarded as an early and therefore exceptionally important example, at least in Middle Dutch literature, of the genus iudiciale of the old ars rhetorica. I will attempt here to combine both approaches, although the emphasis will be on the latter. Needless to say, this brief exposition will have to be limited to the major components of Grimbeert's plea." - Rombauts

Language: English

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