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Friday, October 11, 2013

From long-continued silence hoarse (2)


In the two most recent posts called "Timber!" the cutting of a forest was shown, the work of the Crusaders in order to build big siege engines. But, again, if we place these verses by Tasso against the background of Virgil, Aeneid 6: 179-183
itur in antiquam siluam, stabula alta ferarum;
procumbunt piceae, sonat icta securibus ilex
fraxineaeque trabes cuneis et fissile robur
scinditur, aduoluunt ingentis montibus ornos
a different nuance emerges. In fact, Virgil's verses referred to the wood needed to build a high pyre to honor the corpse of a dead warrior, Mysen. So, the power of machines is turned into a dark shadow of death. Those engines will burn as an enormous pyre. It also clearly appears that Tasso modified the list of the tree species on purpose by adding the yew, i.e. himself ("tasso" = Tasso).