Now, any time you find an illuminated manuscript, the drawings there are meant to accentuate the story and came in several categories, with the most common being ‘Drolleries’ or ‘Grotesques.’ In these, you’d find horrible monsters, animal hybrids and odd scenes. Mainly though, they’d show an alternate version of events, or what they called the “World Turned Upside Down.”
So when it came to violent bunnies, it was recontextualizing the helpless, cowardly and passively sexual bunnies as the predators. They were getting their revenge on those that preyed upon them; humans, dogs, etc… So when you come across a bunny that’s attacking someone in the margins of your text, it’s used to illustrate the cowardice of person that’s being written about, but also to show off a “meek shall inherit the earth” mentality, as in ‘don’t fuck with the nice people.’
Basically, it’s a cautionary tale. If you show disrespect to the innocent, to women and children, to the helpless, and you prey on them, it will come back to bite you in the ass.
And it definitely will. Check these out.