This course focuses on Ariosto’s Orlando furioso and Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata. Themes include the following: the influence of classical models (especially of Virgil’s Aeneid); the interplay between love and war; questions of gender; the often (though not always) violent encounters between Islam and Christianity in the early modern age; the political and theological repercussions of the geographical explorations beyond the Mediterranean. Students will be encouraged to analyze and discuss the primary texts examined in this course in light of the main critical currents that have emerged on the subject of Renaissance epic over the last thirty years. While the weekly discussions will be conducted in English, the Orlando furioso and the Gerusalemme liberata will be read in Italian.
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