Aldo Castellani

Between poetry and poetics: Godfrey of Bouillon in "Jerusalem Delivered"

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Torquato Tasso, Godfrey of Bouillon, Rinaldo, Aristotle

The author analyses the figure of Godfrey of Bouillon in "Jerusalem Delivered" by comparing and contrasting it with Tasso's other works, including the "Letters", as well as with the historic sources of the Crusades, to demonstrate Tasso's choice to strengthen the religious and devotional features of Godfrey's personality since the very beginning of the poem. The author goes on analyzing the relationship between Godfrey and Rinaldo, thereby focussing on its implications for the Aristotelian unity of character. He then observes how Godfrey and Rinaldo interact to make up a sort of hybrid, by which Tasso endeavours to conciliate the theoretical requirements of Aristotelian unity and the diverse vicissitudes of the chivalric epic.

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