"Ludovico Ariosto Questions for Alfred J. Drake's English 242: World Literature 400-1600 CE, Spring 2009 at Chapman University"



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Of Interest: Biblioteca Italiana | Renaissance Backgrounds

Assigned: Ludovico Ariosto. Orlando Furioso (2534-49).

Orlando Furioso

1. From 2537-42, Orlando pursues Angelica, and falls into a state of madness. What drives him insane, and why? In what sense is "love" -- the reason for Orlando's long quest--already intimately connected to the insanity that subsequently overtakes this hero?

2. From 2542-47, Richardet, just rescued by Ruggiero, recounts what happened between his sister Bradamant and Princess Fiordispina. How is the power of erotic desire represented in this episode? How does Richardet solve Fiordispina's problem?

3. From 2547-49, Orlando is repeatedly said to perform feats of strength far beyond anything possible for an ordinary mortal -- uprooting trees, tearing men in half, etc. Why do you suppose Ariosto employs such hyperbolic descriptions of Orlando's strength?

Edition: Lawall, Sarah, ed. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd edition. Volumes 1ABC. New York: Norton, 2002. ISBN A = 0-393-97755-2, B = 0-393-97756-0, C = 0-393-97757-9.