Orlando Furioso

Orlando Furioso

The Frenzy of Orlando : A Romantic Epic

Book - 1973-1977
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"One of the greatest epic poems of the Italian Renaissance, Orlando Furioso is an intricate tale of love and enchantment set at the time of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne's conflict with the Moors. When Count Orlando returns to France from Cathay with the captive Angelica as his prize, her beauty soon inspires his cousin Rinaldo to challenge him to a duel - but during their battle, Angelica escapes from both knights on horseback and begins a desperate quest for freedom. This dazzling kaleidoscope of fabulous adventures, sorcery and romance has inspired generations of writers - including Spenser and Shakespeare - with its depiction of a fantastical world of magic rings, flying horses, sinister wizardry and barbaric splendour. Barbara Reynolds's acclaimed translation conveys the wit and subtlety of the original, while in-depth introduction explores the poem's literary origins in earlier myths and legens. This edition also incudes an index of names and detailed end notes."--
Publisher: London : Penguin Books, [1973-1977]
Copyright Date: ©1975-1977
ISBN: 9780140443110
Branch Call Number: 851.3 ARIOS
Characteristics: 2 volumes : illustrations, genealogical tables, maps ; 19 cm.
Additional Contributors: Reynolds, Barbara 1914-


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ColemanRidge Sep 21, 2011

Why you should read this: >Rodomante, a Saracen knight, leads his army up over the walls of Paris, and down into a moat dug on the other side. He leaps across the moat in full armor to cover his army's advance across it. The defenders have, however, filled the moat with pitch-covered wood, which they ignite, burning the entire army alive. Irate, Rodomante decides to kill everyone in Paris and burn the city to the ground. He succeeds so well at this that Charlemagne has to lead his army back into Paris to deal with this one guy, who fights them for a while, cuts his way to the river, and swims away, still in full armor.<

And: >Bradamante, the Christian warrior maiden, believes herself to have been jilted by Ruggerio, the Saracen paladin, who has, in fact, neglected her. She pines, she weeps, she considers suicide, and then she puts on her armor and sets out to kick his ass. Ariosto is no kind of a feminist; the story and the character just ran away with him. Still, it is a very satisfying change from the usual thing.<

Finally, Marfisa, a Saracen warrior maiden, having a good day:

>No child midst flowers, crimson, gold, and blue,/
In spring has ever played with more delight,/
No lovely damsel keener pleasure knew,/
To strains of music dancing in the night,/
Than among noise of arms and horses, through/
The criss-cross maze of lances, where the fight/
Is thickest, when men die or blood is shed,/
She, strong beyond belief, with joy will tread.<

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