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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hunter & Commander (2)

More than once, in GC, will Tasso interrupt a war description and insert a hunting enterprise, though not strictly needed for the plot. Here - again in the pictures painted/woven in that tent in the Christian encampment - Godfrey himself shows off in a victorious fight against a bear.

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And, once again, we can notice a 'Viking' bias, especially if we recall by comparison Dante's numerous descriptions of hunts in the Divine Comedy, that usually referred to falconry, and anyway not to men grappling with bears or wolves.

Another strange feature of Gerusalemme Conquistata is precisely this exaltation of violence against Nature, both animals and trees. Nothing more than a narrative device, one would say, since in his long poem Il Mondo Creato, written in the same period (1592-4), Tasso is against any kind of violence: he even shows a very early ecological consciousness, e.g. stressing that some species have disappeared from Europe, like lions.