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Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture$
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Jane E. Everson, Andrew Hiscock, and Stefano Jossa

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266502

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266502.001.0001

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Milton and Ariosto

Milton and Ariosto

(p.115) 6 Milton and Ariosto
Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture

Tobias Gregory

British Academy

How did Milton read Ariosto? The standard account holds that he admired Orlando Furioso in his youth and dismissed it in his maturity, rejecting chivalric romance in Paradise Lost as ‘the skill of artifice or office mean’. This essay revisits the question. It finds a stronger and more positive connection between the Furioso and Paradise Lost in the two poems’ expansive sense of space, and in several prominent Ariostan allusions in Milton’s epic.

Keywords:   Milton, Ariosto, Paradise Lost, Orlando Furioso, epic, romance, allusion, space

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