SiStan ChapLee

Monday, October 7, 2013

When a friend dies (3)

Godfried's feelings, in front of the corpse of a dear fellow knight, are expressed through carefully chosen words creating a difficult balance between human sorrow and religious atmospheres of hope. In GC 4: 74, verses 5 and 7-8, plus 76, verse 2, Tasso intertwines not less than three passages from Dante, that is Inferno 4: 84 (an uncertain attitude, like in the Limbo), Inferno 5: 109-111, 117 (the sorrow for the death of Francesca da Rimini), and Inferno 8: 119 (anguish, lying in wait).

In general, this episode well summarizes the complex, ambivalent attitude of Tasso towards life, dithering between a feeling of universal collapse and a vision of an all-permeating divine light.