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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Under accusation (2)

Summarizing GC 6: 46-48

Arnold [Arnalto], one of Gernand's best friends, reports the events in a biased form: Richard -- he says -- killed Gernand for a futile reason and, despising Godfrey's camp rules, he even used his sword against another Christian knight. He should therefore be sentenced to death; otherwise, if Godfrey pardoned Richard, any other Crusader may feel free to follow his bad example. Finally, Gernand's friends would take private vengeance, (*) and clashes would ensue everywhere. Arnold is succeeding in awakening the feelings of the bystanders towards Gernand when another knight, Anselm, starts to defend Richard. Godfrey of Bouillon listens to both with a stern countenance . . .

(*) A typical Nordic-epic attitude, see Beowulf. Tasso, as we will see, will make a difficult attempt to balance "heathen" heroism and Christian morals.