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Ludovico Ariosto 1474-1533 Italian poet remembered primarily for his ORLANDO FURIOSO published in its final version in 1532 Ariostos work was the most celebrated narrative poem of the Italian high Renaissance and the first example of modern poetry to provoke widespread critical controvesy Ariosto was born in Reggio Emilia as the son of Count Niccol Ariosto At the age of then his family moved to Ferrera where he studied law from 1489 to1494 There he also started to study Latin and Greek language and literature When his father died in 1500 Ariosto assumed for some years the management of family estates as the eldest of 10 children In 1502 he became commander of the fort of Canossa and the next year he entered the service of Cardidal Ippolito dEste In 1513 Ariosto met Alessandra Benucci After the death of her husband Tito Strozzi she became Ariostos mistress Because the family had settled comfortably in Ferrara Ariosto refused to accompany Cardinal dEste to Hungary and entered the service of Alfonso I Duke of Ferrara Cardinals brother In 1522 he was sent to govern the Garfagnana region in the wildest part of the Apuan Alps He returned after three years from the bandit-ridden post to Ferrara In about 1505 Arisoto began writing Orlando Furioso The poem was a continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardos Orlando innamorato Its first edition appeared in Venice in 1516 and was later revised in 1521 and 1532 The main character Orlando goes mad furioso because his love for the beautiful Angelica is not returned Other themes are the war between Christians and Saracens and the secondary love story of Ruggiero and Bradamante Orlando Furioso presented a rich variety of characters mixed romance epic and lyrical poetry and made fun of outmoded chivalric manners Later the poem had a profound influence on such poets as Tasso Spenser and Lope de Vega It also fascinated artists and in the mid-1700s GB
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