The way from the poem to the chivalric plot for the novel of modern times, like much in the Renaissance, begins in Italy. However, in this case it looks somewhat strange.

Italy has never been a country of classical chivalry. Relatively few locks of local nobles - the mainstay of feudal freemen - in many places (as, for example, around Florence) were destroyed, and their inhabitants moved to the city. So the knightly ideal, before giving literary fruits in Italy, was to be brought here from other places, for example from France. There was the homeland of courtly culture of the Middle Ages, and there in the XV century. this culture experienced a farewell bloom. However, most clearly this was not even in France itself, but wherever the younger branch of the French royal house reigned - in Burgundy (see § 6.4).

The knightly ideal blossomed on the basis of a dying reality. In the era of the formation of centralized states, knighthood ceased to be a bulwark and a defense. On the contrary, now it created a threat to the fact that national forces will never be gathered in uniform state limits. As for the performance by this class of its immediate function-military, chivalry turned out to be less and less adapted. After the Azenkur it was clear that the era of chivalry was over. However, 40 years after the fall of Constantinople, the idea of ​​chivalry is trying to resurrect, urging Christian Europe to join forces for a new crusade to the East.

About this time and revived knightly idea, utopian and beautiful. It is all the more beautiful, the less generated by reality, since the features of chivalrous behavior and life are becoming more widespread in European life - but as a consequence of the idea, as its implementation. About this and written "Autumn of the Middle Ages" Johanna Huyzing, one of the classics of modern cultural history. In 1919, when the first edition was published, this book was a convincing attempt to change the whole concept of the Renaissance in comparison with the way it was created by Jacob Burckhardt half a century earlier. The Middle Ages are much more tenacious, long and diverse in their cultural manifestations, and the Renaissance is much more "medieval" with all their unconditional differences:

... Anyone who perceives the spirit of the Renaissance without any prejudiced scheme, finds in it much more "medieval" than it seems supposed from a theoretical point of view. "

The knightly idea is modern to humanism and, like it, it was an attempt at an ideological program that reconstructs the present with an eye for the past, in this case a comparatively recent one, with its historical death, a suggestive image, which, in fact, never existed. But now they tried to implement it even within the narrow limits of the court ritual, which on holidays became a form of universal life, striking imagination with its splendor, solemnity, beauty. This created the necessary contrast of everyday life:

"The fifteenth century is a time of severe depression and deep pessimism"; characterizing him. He writes about a constant sense of lawlessness, of violent acts, of the oppressive fear of hell torment and prosecution, of the constant threat of plague, of fire and hunger, of the fear of the wiles of the devil and the wickedness inflicted by witches. The unhappy people needed, in order to resist all this, not only in the daily commemoration of the salvation promised by Heaven and in the hope of the unrelenting care and mercy of the Lord; from time to time it was also required a magnificent and universal, glorifying confirmation of the beauty of life. Life joys in their primary forms of games, love, drinking, songs and dances were no longer enough here; all this should have been ennobled by involvement in beauty, stylized in a universal joyful action. For an individual could not yet find satisfaction in reading books, listening to music, experiencing works of art, or admiring nature; books were too expensive, nature - full of dangers, art was just an integral part of the festival ".

The main place of action, of course, is the courtyard. There, chivalry is played especially seriously, there life is colored "ideal forms ... in artificial illumination of chivalrous romance ...". Life begins to resemble a costume play, on which huge funds and mental powers are spent. Many lives are sacrificed to him, as, for example, when the ideal knight Busico, Marshal of France, together with the future Duke of Burgundy John in 1396, equips the reckless expedition of knights against the Turks. Few survived after the defeat at Picopolis, and 80 years later, and all the Burgundy duchy ceased to exist, thrown on the altar of an insanely heroic idea adopted by Carly the Bold.

The fact that in the Burgundy duchy becomes the content of even life ritual, and life itself, in other places is played much less bloodily, because it remains within the imagination:

"Knightly concepts of honor, loyalty and noble love are taken absolutely seriously, but from time to time tense wrinkles on the forehead crack down on sudden laughter. And of course, it is in Italy that all this is first drawn into a conscious parody: "Morgante" Pulci and "Orlando inamorato" Boyardo. However, the chivalrous romantic feeling wins again: in Ariosto, an undisguised mockery gives way to an amazing feeling of special dignity, a state that is above joke or seriousness and in which the knightly fantasy has found its classic expression. "

Here the names of the main creators of the Italian poem on the chivalric plot are successively named. Roland, or in Italian sounding - Orlando, is, of course, the hero of the French epic tales, who fell in battle with the Moors in the Ronseval Gorge and avenged by Charles the Great. In addition to the classical "Songs of Roland", he became the hero of many song traditions, widely spread throughout Europe and reached Italy. The high meaning of the epic was obliterated by this time: firstly, the heroes of the epic became knights, and secondly, the heroic was perceived by the new tradition primarily as adventurous, i.e. belonging to the sphere of amazing adventures of the hero, the driving force of which is love. In Italy, this story has long been popular and repeatedly processed, gradually from the sphere of nameless-oral creativity turning into literature.

In 1483, the full edition of the poem Luigi Pulci (1432-1484) Morgant & quot ;. The world of knightly feats was changed under his pen in the spirit of folklore exaggeration and carnivalally twisted. The role of the hero of the first of the two parts of the poem is put forward by the defeated Roland, who became his squire, the giant Morgant, awaited by a sad fate: he dies, bitten by a cancer in the heel. Equally ridiculously tragic is the end of another giant - Margutte, cunning and glutton: he burst out laughing, watching the monkey pulling on his boots stolen from him. In the second song, the events take a more heroic tinge: the characters move to the place of the famous battle - to Ronceval. However, not Roland is the main character in the poem Pulchi, and his cousin is Rinaldo.

So the knightly plot is refracted in an atmosphere of humanistic Florence. With the spirit of poetry and wit, the court of Lorenzo de 'Medici, who himself wrote several widely sung songs, knew how to appreciate popular poetry. It is not surprising that Pulchi considered it possible for him, by translating the knightly plot, not to break with the tradition of his folklore existence among folk singers - cantastories.

Other possibilities are revealed in the plot by the Ferrara natives, where the life of the knightly poem continues. The rulers of Ferrara, the dukes of d'Este, are known as lovers of the theater, famous throughout Italy for its exemplary device and scope. The theatrical element is part of the court ritual. A grandiose play now looks like a chivalric plot. Just one year after the Morgant Pulci appears the first two parts of the poem Matteo Boyard (1441-1494) "Loving Roland". The third part will see the light after the untimely death of the author, who did not survive the French invasion of Italy.

Where Boyardo has stayed, another Ferra will continue - Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533). The first edition of his "Furious Roland" was published in 1516, the second, corrected - in 1521. The last lifetime publication, the number of songs in which increased from 40 to 46, appeared in 1532. It is an amazingly light and light book belonging to the time left in cultural memory as an era gloomy and oppressive:

It's cold in Europe. It's dark in Italy.

The power is disgusting, like the arms of a barber.

Oh, if you open it, but as soon as possible,

A wide window is on the Adriatic.

So begins the poem of Osip Mandelstam & "Ariost".

In the language of cicadas, the captivating mixture

From the sadness of Pushkin and the Mediterranean pride,

Like ivy biting, clinging to everything,

He is bravely lying, with Orlando kurolesya.

Dear Ariost, embassy fox,

Blooming fern, sailboat, century,

You listened to the moon on the oatmeal of the voice,

And at the court of fish - the scientist was an adviser.

One of the heroes of the poem, Astolfo, visited the moon. Ambassadorial fox This is about Ariosto himself, who spent his life in the service of the Duke of D'Este. The poetic works of Ariosto did not enjoy the support of his patrons, who believed that his time could be used more profitably. However, the poet did not cease to hope for gratitude and unfolded one of the central story lines of the poem as a legendary prehistory of the genus d'Este.

But the main thing in the poem is the game of imagination, the game of the plot. Ariosto has almost no heroes that would not have appeared in his predecessors, especially Boyard. What was once the subject of the epic - the struggle of Christians with infidels, the protection of the emperor Charles and his heroes of nice France - all this in the knightly poem makes up the background: countless Saracens, Africans, Cathayans (meaning the Chinese, but quite theatrically conditioned ) rush to storm Paris. In the foreground - love adventures, for which they call their works Boyardo and Ariosto. At the first - severe Roland fell in love with the princess of Antalia, Anzhelika. The second - Roland found out that he did not like her and from grief lost his mind, fell into love madness.

However, the plot feature of poems is that they do not know how and do not want to focus on any one event. They have not one hero, but dozens. In this motley crowd, each person arises in episodes and then is again absorbed, apparently, by a chaotic, uncontrollable course of events. Uncontrollability of events is an illusion: author's will and author's presence are all the more insistent as the genre develops. By eventful whirlwind is really dizzy.

All cards are mixed with Angelica, which is liked by all or almost all the knights of the Christian and any other faith, ready to join it for each other in battle. Angelica is in a state of constant flight. They pursue her, fight along the way, fall into enchanted castles, fall into the grip of evil sorceresses. Enchantment comes into play. The situation is complicated by the action of a love drink, which easily reverses the relations of the parties, symbolizing the volatile self-will of love. So, Boyardo first Angelica loves Rinaldo, but he does not like her, but under the influence of the drink she fell out of love, and he joined the general pursuit of the beauty, becoming the rival of his cousin - Roland.

The poem of Ariosto begins with the fact that the Emperor Carl, whose concern - the invasion of the Moors, takes Angelica from Roland and promises to pass it to that of the heroes who will prove to be the most worthy in military exploits. Angelica is given to the preservation of the Bavarian prince Na'im, but he himself is captured by the infidels. Angelica flees, and again begins a love pursuit, alternating with knightly martial arts.

In parallel, there are several more lines connected with other beauties and other heroes. Among them the main thing is the love of the mighty warrior Bradamanta (Rinaldo's sister) to the glorious Ruggier, the son of an African princess and a Christian warrior brought up by the magician Atlas. According to Merlin's prediction (Canto III), it is from this union that in the distant future the house of the Duke of Ferrara will appear. By the time of the prediction, the heroes had already met, fell in love with each other, and had time to part from each other. Bradamante learns that Ruggier, against his will, is held by Atlanta, who loves his pupil and wants to protect him from the dangers of chivalrous life. You can defeat a wizard only with the help of a wonderful ring. Bradamante mines the ring, enters the castle of Atlanta, but, having freed the other captives, he manages to carry Rujier on a flying hippogriff.

In this part of the poem, the United States reader learns from Ariosto what Pushkin read in Ruslan and Lyudmila: in a number of plot parallels, Atlant with his castle reminds Chernomor. Pushkin appreciated Ariosto and even moved one of the episodes of his poem - the riot of Roland, who, pursuing Angelica, comes to the bank of the river and sees the trees, dotted with her name in conjunction with the name of her lover - a knight, though not a great one, Medora. In the epic, the heroine loved for her greatness. In the knightly poem, this epic custom is challenged: masterful love sets its hierarchy of values.

In this love self-willedness there is a new personality trait for the heroes, and the author's individuality manifests itself in narrative self-will, which the old epic does not know. With the author's impersonality of the old epic, the kaleidoscopic nature of the plot episodes would inevitably lead to chaos. In the knightly poem, the event chaos is subordinate to the order, we control. The action does not jump arbitrarily from one hero to another, but is directed by the author's will - not concealed, but constantly commented:

But again I say: I can not

All talk about one thing and one thing ...

So I leave Ruggier in this heat,

And I'll go to Scotland to meet Rinaldo.

Trans. M. Gasparov

However, new twists will follow before the end of this VIII song:

But, my lord,

I, as a noble player on the right strings,

Must search again and again That high, then low ringing, -

And while I was talking about Rinald,

I remembered the sweet Angelica:

How did she get away from it

And in that flight met a hermit ...

The author conducts the story, breaking off the song with the usual promise - to continue it after a pause: "And what's next, about what I'll say next". The author establishes the event symmetricity of the plot, which is based on the duality of most of the individual fates and the pairing of the hero's relations. Many heroes are bound by the "additionality relation"; The transition from one to another follows as the development of the entire plot situation, turning the new side and giving rise to a more complicated assessment. Each (or many) of the characters undergo a dramatic change in their role, moving from grandeur to humiliation, from high to low, which is inevitably followed by the "intonational shift" that the author's leading narrative responds to.

The eventual mobility of the plot generates intonational mobility of the narrative point of view, capable of combining within the same story material unusually diverse. This created a new style - a workshop, brilliant. The intonation, born in octaves Ariosto, opened the way to the romantic poem, to Byron, to "Eugene Onegin" . In this case, Ariosto does not break with the tradition of epic heroism. Both the enamored and furious Roland remains Roland, the great hero, the backbone of the Christian world, from exploits in the name of which love adventures are only temporarily diverted it, depriving the hero of the mind.

One of the sources of the miraculous, magical Ariosto is a poetic imagination that is certainly gullible to metaphors, revealing them. If someone has lost his mind, then somewhere this mind must be in fact? And where should he be, if not on the moon, his light captivating lovers! Find only what is lost under the power of Astolfo: to him flocked all sorts of objects that have a magical power: a spear, a horn. In search of Rolland's mind, Astolfo descends into hell, ascends to heaven, and then to the moon, where he finally finds what he needs. It remains only to overcome the insane Roland, that Astolfo's cunning and the combined efforts of the other heroes can be done. He is returned to the mind. He crushes the infidels, whose main support, Rujier, admonished by the holy hermit, receives baptism. The way to a happy ending is opened - to the wedding of Rudzhisra and Bradamanga, reinforced by the vision of the future glory of the Ferrara house of the dukes of d'Este.

The love troubles are arranged, the madness is over, and the action again enters the epic course of events, from the great past directed towards the great future. Ariosto does not break with the material that formed the basis of his narrative, but his own story arose as if in a break of epic events, in a pause of heroism. His own tone reminds little of an important and impersonal epic tradition. At it all just personal, individual - from love adventures of heroes to its author's presence accompanying a poem.

In the relatively recent future, in the last third of the sixteenth century, in different European cultures there will be no shortage of attempts to revive knightly greatness, to glorify modernity, dressing it in knightly armor, tuning your lyre after Homer and Virgil. It will be a heroic epic of modern history, which sometimes underlines its all-Christian, and sometimes - national character. Attempts to create a new epic, cleared of courtesan frivolity, from the ease inherent in Ariosto, are made already in the 1540s, and later there are glorified examples of this genre.

Ariosto did not pretend to an epic hill, but he was able to gracefully combine high with low, heroic - with comic. His Furious Roland arose at a very important genre crossroads. In the past, there was an old epic, and a chivalric romance that replaced it. The future was the creation of the new heroic epic, which was to occupy the highest line in the genre hierarchy of classicism and which, by virtue of this position, had no right to reduce the narrative style.

Ariosto worked at a time when the strict rules of classic poetics had not yet entered into force. The memory of the knightly past was alive and exciting. It was perceived not as a memory, but as almost a reality, opening up under the dull and gloomy appearance of modernity in the light of imagination. The poem of Ariosto arose from a descent from one epic height before rising to another. In it, the productive mechanism of the decline of the epic material, was developed and thus the possibility of the epic, which is not necessarily associated with the elevation and solemnity, is predicted; who is quite satisfied with the sphere of everyday life, and the time of his action is real. The poem of Ariosto predicted the birth of the novel of modern times.


Poem on the chivalric plot:

The chivalric novel of theatricality of the plot

connection with the epic octave

narrative viewpoint

thematic pictures

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