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Friday, November 22, 2013

She, Armida (13)

In lying to Godfrey, Armida makes ironic reference to the truth when she says that she was born far from the main river in his homeland . . .  but anyway born in a river, she implies. The daughter of a mermaid, therefore a half-non-human creature.

In fact, this verse was different in Gerusalemme Liberata 4: 40. There Armida said, "I, who was born in such a different faith [religion], the one you humbled and are now trying to crush." In Gerusalemme Conquistata she avoids mentioning the "clash of civilizations." She indeed will express very interesting ecumenical concepts, though just as a captatio benevolentiae. An attempt at interfaith dialogue had already been made by the two Muslim ambassadors Aletes and Argantes, though just for political purposes. Examples of a true respect between people belonging to different religions will appear elsewhere in the poem.