Ludovico Ariosto

Ludovico Ariosto (lōōdōvē´kō äryôs´tō), 1474–1533, Italian epic and lyric poet. As a youth he was a favorite at the court of Ferrara; later he was in the service of Ippolito I, Cardinal d'Este, and from 1517 until his death served Alfonso, duke of Ferrara. He was never properly rewarded by his patrons. While in the service of the cardinal, he began writing his masterpiece, the Orlando Furioso, published in its final form in 1532. This epic treatment of the Roland story, theoretically a sequel to the unfinished poem of Boiardo, greatly influenced Shakespeare, Milton, and Byron. It was intended to glorify the Este family as Vergil had glorified the Julians. Ariosto also wrote lyric verse of unequal merit, but he was among the first to write comedies in the vernacular (based loosely on Roman models), among them I Suppositi [the pretenders] and Il Negromante [the necromancer].

See the famous 16th-century translation of Orlando Furioso by Sir John Harington, ed. by R. McNulty (1972), as well as the verse translations by B. Reynolds (2 vol., 1975) and by D. R. Slavitt (2010); studies by B. Croce (tr. 1920, repr. 1966), R. Griffin (1974), and A. R. Ascoli (1987).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

FREE! Ariosto, Shakespeare and Corneille
Benedetto Croce; Douglas Ainslie.
Henry Holt, 1920
Ariosto and the "Fier Pastor": Form and History in Orlando Furioso
Ascoli, Albert Russell.
Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 2, Summer 2001
The Invention of the Renaissance Woman: The Challenge of Female Independence in the Literature and Thought of Italy and England
Pamela Joseph Benson.
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Debate about Woman in the Orlando Furioso" and Chap. 5 "Praise and Limitation of the Independent Woman in the Orlando Furioso"
FREE! The Italian Poets since Dante
William Everett.
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1904
Librarian’s tip: Chap. III "Ariosto"
Studies in Humanism
J. W. Mackail.
Longmans, Green and Co., 1938
Librarian’s tip: "Ariosto" begins on p. 121
A Short History of Italian Literature
Robert A. Hall Jr.
Linguistica, 1951
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XIV "Ariosto"
"Her Filthy Feature Open Showne" in Ariosto, Spenser, and 'Much Ado about Nothing.'
Gough, Melinda J.
Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 39, No. 1, Winter 1999
Meanings of the Medium: Perspectives on the Art of Television
Katherine Usher Henderson; Joseph Anthony Mazzeo.
Praeger Publishers, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Ariosto and Bochco: Polyphonic Plotting in Orlando Furioso, Hill Street Blues, and L. A. Law"
Desire in the Renaissance: Psychoanalysis and Literature
Valeria Finucci; Regina Schwartz.
Princeton University Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "The Female Masquerade: Ariosto and the Game of Desire" begins on p. 61
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