Chamber of rhetoric  

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Chambers of rhetoric (rederijkerskamers) were dramatic societies in the Low Countries. Their members are called Rederijkers (singular - Rederijker), and during the 15th and 16th centuries were mainly interested in dramas and lyrics. The first chambers of rhetoric were founded in Flanders around the 15th century; they later flowered in Holland, where they were an important part of the literary scene in the Dutch Golden Age and experimented with poetic form and structure.

The most important chamber of rhetoric in the Netherlands was "De Eglantier" in Amsterdam: Coster, Bredero, Hooft and Roemer Visscher were all members of this society. A notable similar fraternity was the Guild of Romanists in Antwerp, of which many leading artists were members.

Because many of the rederijkers were amateurs, the literary quality of their work was often rather low, and in later centuries, the chambers of rhetoric were often spoken of with contempt. Some of their successful works that came from the Rederijkers included: The play Elckerlijc.

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