The Paradox of Helen: <i>Genealogies and Textual Hierarchies in</i> Orlando furioso, <i>Canto XXXIV</i>

Eleonora Stoppino

in Genealogies of Fiction

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780823240371
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823240418 | DOI:
The Paradox of Helen: Genealogies and Textual Hierarchies in Orlando furioso, Canto XXXIV

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This chapter centers on the figure of Lidia and the violence of dynastic foundation. It considers a particular case of intertextuality in the Furioso, and defines entrelacement as the principle by which models are organized and brought into conflict. The Lidia episode (canto XXXIV) reveals a complex web of references, in which a classical model (the Aeneid) is revitalized and reformed through a medieval intertext (the Cantari di Febus il forte, an Italian translation of a French prose romance). In this chapter, genealogy is considered as the literary technique that allows Ariosto to create a text which has multiple and conflicting meanings inscribed in itself, intertextual layers that acquire significance when read simultaneously. In the episode of Lidia, this particular use of entrelacement (realized at the intertextual level) allows Ariosto to expose the violence hidden in the social and literary narrative of marriage alliances.

Keywords: classical models; Helen paradox; intertextuality; Lidia; Furioso character; marriage alliance; medieval models; woman; cause of war

Chapter.  9894 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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