"Know that as soon as any soul betraysDante says that betrayal / treason is such a monstrous sin that, as soon as one commits it, the soul is immediately damned, though the body apparently keeps living on earth, moved by a devil. But even this is not enough; in working out this theological novelty, Dante had surely a widespread medieval lore in his mind, namely vampires, undead people inwardly maneuvered by (d)evil entities. Non that Tasso maintains that Gernand is a vampire, but he constantly enriches historical situations by projecting them onto the fantasy-verse, all the more so in Gerusalemme Conquistata.
As I have done, his body by a demon
Is taken from him, who thereafter rules it,
Until his time has wholly been revolved.
. . .
In moat above," said he, "of Malebranche,
There where is boiling the tenacious pitch,
As yet had Michel Zanche not arrived,
When this one left a devil in his stead
In his own body . . . "
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