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Friday, April 22, 2016

Understandable worries (1)

[8: 50]

Goffredo intanto gli occhi gravi e tardi
Volge con mente allhor dubbia e sospesa;
Né perché molto pensi e molto guardi
Sa chi debba anteporre a l'alta impresa.
Vi mancano i più forti e più gagliardi:
Di Tancredi non s'è novella intesa,
Et erra in lungo essiglio, e i rischi sprezza,
Quel nuovo fior di gloria e di bellezza.

Godfrey meanwhile turns worried looks
All around, his puzzled mind in suspense;
All thinking and looking can't help him
Choose whom to appoint for the enterprise.
The strongest and boldest are missing: (*)
No one heard about Tancred any more,
And away in exile, despising risks,
Is the new flower of glory and beauty. (**)

(*) Many had followed the witch Armida, falling into her trap. Tancred himself is now a prisoner of Armida, though he did not come to her castle on purpose: he was trying to reach a mysterious woman warrior whom he believed to be his beloved Clorinda.
(**) Richard, the main hero of Gerusalemme Conquistata (corresponding to Rinaldo in the Liberata); he has been banished by Godfrey for having killed a comrade, Gernand, in a brawl.
The adjective "new" implies "after the heroes in the poems of Homer and of chivalry." The character of Richard in GC is based on Achilles, bisexuality included.