Ludovico Ariosto Comments

Fabrizio Frosini 09 November 2015

''Orlando Furioso'' is 'one of the most influential works in the whole of European literature' and it remains an inspiration for writers to this day. Orlando Furioso was a major influence on Edmund Spenser's epic The Faerie Queene. William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing takes one of its plots (Hero/Claudio/Don John) from Orlando Furioso (probably via Spenser or Bandello) . In 1592, Robert Greene published a play called ''The Historie of Orlando Furioso''. According to Barbara Reynolds, the English poet the closest in spirit to Ariosto is Lord Byron. There have been several verse translations of Orlando Furioso into English. The first one was by John Harington, published in 1591. William Huggins' and Henry Boyd's translations were published in 1757 and 1784, respectively. John Hoole's 1783 translation used rhyming couplets. William Stewart Rose produced an eight-volume translation beginning publication in 1823 and ending in 1831. Barbara Reynolds published a verse translation in 1975, and an extremely abridged verse translation by David Slavitt was published in 2009. - - - [the previous comment (box below) and the present one are adaptations from Wikipedia]

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Fabrizio Frosini 09 November 2015

the romance epic ''Orlando Furioso'' (1516***) by Ludovico Ariosto [sort of a continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardo's unfinished romance ''Orlando Innamorato'' (''Orlando in Love'', published posthumously in 1495) ] describes the adventures of Charlemagne, Orlando, and the Franks as they battle against the Saracens with diversions into many sideplots. The poem is divided into forty-six cantos, each containing a variable number of eight-line stanzas in ottava rima (a rhyme scheme of abababcc) . Ottava rima had been used in previous Italian romantic epics, including Luigi Pulci's Morgante and Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato. Ariosto's work is 38,736 lines long in total, making it one of the longest poems in European literature. Ariosto introduced also narrative commentary throughout the work. The poem exerted a wide influence on later culture. ***Ariosto began working on the poem around 1506, when he was 32. The earliest version appeared in 1516. A second edition appeared in 1521 with minor revisions. The poem was not published in its complete form until 1532.

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