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"Trickery as an Element of the Character of Renart"
Roger Bellon
Forum for Modern Language Studies, January; 22:1, 1986, 34-52

"If trickery is defined as a 'means of obtaining from others that which cannot be obtained by force, work or right', it clearly emerges from the full text of the Roman de Renart that trickery is vitally important to Renart, both as animal and man... It should be noted that the Old French term enging has two senses: it is both a trick, wile or dodge, and in a more abstract sense an attitude of mind, a rule of conduct, and an approach to life. A detailed moral and intellectual portrait of Renart can therefore be drawn; in P. Jonin's study Renart is described as cruel, knavish and perverse from a moral viewpoint, but his intellectual qualities can be summed up in one word: Renart is a trickster. The distinction between moral and intellectual characteristics surely fades into insignificance when set against one essential truth: like other heroes of medieval literature, Renart pocesses a teche (l'enging), and all Renart's other characteristics are subordinated to his inate and unfailing trickery." - Bellon

Language: English

ISSN: 0015-8518
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