Jerusalem Delivered (Gerusalemme Liberata)
The poem, which in detail bears almost no resemblance to the actual history or cultural setting of the Crusades, tells of the initial disunity and setbacks of the Christians and their ultimate success in taking Jerusalem in The main historical leaders of the First Crusade feature, but much of the poem is concerned with romantic sub-plots involving entirely fictional characters, except for Tancredi, who is identified with the historical Tancred, Prince of Galilee. The three main female characters begin as Muslims, have romantic entanglements with Christian knights, and are eventually converted to Christianity.
They are all women of action: two of them fight in battles, and the third is a sorceress.
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Before his death, he rewrote the poem virtually from scratch, under a new title La Gerusalemme Conquistata , or "Jerusalem Conquered". This revised version, however, has found little favor with either audiences or critics.
Tasso (Torquato) Jerusalem Delivered Summary
Scenes from the poem were often depicted in art, mainly by Italian or French artists in the Baroque period, which began shortly after the poem was published. Most paintings showed the love stories, typically with lovers as the two main figures. Common scenes depicted include several with Rinaldo, some including Armida.
These include: Armida sees the sleeping Rinaldo, and draws her sword to kill him, but Cupid restrains her hand; instead she abducts him in her chariot; Carlo and Ubaldo in Armida's garden; the knights find the lovers gazing at each other; Rinaldo abandons her. Also popular were Tancredi baptising the mortally wounded Clorinda and Erminia finding the wounded Tancredi, a moment of high emotion in the poem and perhaps the most often depicted.
She is also shown nursing him, cutting off her hair to use as bandages. Most depictions until the 19th century use vaguely classical costume at least for the men and settings; by then Lord Byron , Sir Walter Scott and other romantic writers had begun to replace Tasso as sources of exotic love stories to adapt into other media.
Some use more contemporary armour , but attempts at authentic 11th-century decor are not seen. The scenes almost all take place outdoors, in an idealized pastoral landscape, which can occupy much of the composition, as in the 18th-century fresco cycles.
Series of works in paint or tapestry decorated some palaces. A set of ten large canvases by Paolo Domenico Finoglia were painted from on for the Palazzo Acquaviva in Conversano in Apulia , home of the local ruler, where they remain. Another set of four oil paintings by Tiepolo were painted c.
They show the story of Rinaldo, with three covering his time with Armida. Among 18th-century rooms with sets of paintings of the poem that survive intact are two in Florence , at the Palazzo Temple Leader and Palazzo Panciatichi. The first illustrated edition was in , in Italian, and others followed. A set of 35 etchings by Antonio Tempesta better reflect the actual balance of the poem, also showing the military parts of the story.
The series of ten large paintings by Finoglio has the following scenes, which may be taken as typical:. The fame of Tasso's poem quickly spread throughout the European continent. In England, Sidney , Daniel and Drayton seem to have admired it, and, most importantly, Edmund Spenser described Tasso as an "excellente poete" and made use of elements from Gerusalemme liberata in The Faerie Queene.
The description of Redcrosse's vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem in the First Book owes something to Rinaldo's morning vision in Canto 18 of Gerusalemme. In the twelfth canto of Book Two, Spenser's enchantress Acrasia is partly modelled on Tasso's Armida and the English poet directly imitated two stanzas from the Italian.
The first attempt to translate Gerusalemme liberata into English was made by Richard Carew , who published his version of the first five cantos as Godfrey of Bulloigne or the recoverie of Hierusalem in More significant was the complete rendering by Edward Fairfax which appeared in and has been acclaimed as one of the finest English verse translations.
There is also an eighteenth-century translation by John Hoole , and modern versions by Anthony Esolen and Max Wickert. Tasso's poem remained popular among educated English readers and was, at least until the end of the 19th century, considered one of the supreme achievements of Western literature. Somewhat eclipsed in the Modernist period, its fame is showing signs of recovering. It seems to have remained in the curriculum, formal or informal, for girls, in times when it was not taught at boys' schools.
The English critic George Saintsbury — recorded that "Every girl from Scott's heroines to my own sisters seem to have been taught Dante and Petrarch and Tasso and even Ariosto, as a matter of course.