Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What about Armida? (6)

Canto 6, stanzas 101-105 (summary): In the end, they decide to draw for ten-not-more-than-ten knights who will follow Armida and help her regain the power in her own city, at least according to her version. Here Tasso amuses himself a lot by describing the reactions of the Christian warriors as the names are drawn from the box -- the reactions of both the chosen ones and the others. Paradoxically, while Ariosto loved to caricaturize the typical scenarios of the poems of chivalry, here the usually more austere Tasso caricaturizes Ariosto in his turn, since in Orlando Furioso the raffle was about no less than the duels among the main four Muslim knights to assert their respective rights on the ownership of special weapons and horses. Whereas in Orlando Furioso the parallel love affair between the Christian knight Rinaldo and the witch Alcina had nothing to do with any draw: he had chanced to reach her island by riding the hippogriff.