Tasso’s enchantress, Tasso’s captive woman* Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This essay offers two discoveries concerning lasso's poetics. First, it identifies in the Discourses on the Heroic Poem a critique of allegory on both aesthetic and moral grounds, one that explains Jerusalem Delivered's abandonment of the “temptress-turned-hag” motif Second, it demonstrates that Armida and Erminia are closely linked to the “captive woman “ topos used by Jerome and Boccaccio to justify Christian adaptations of pagan literature and rhetoric. It is the hermeneutic dimension of this motif that allows Tasso plausibly to convert these beautiful pagan women (and the poetic pleasures they embody) to the exigencies of Christian epic.

publication date

  • 2001