Cantos XVIII (Night Rescue), XIX (Angelica), XXIX (Orlando), XLII (Post-script)
Servant of King Dardinello, Comrade of Cloridano
Classical Type: Paris
TL;DR Absolute Nobody Gets the Girl and Happily Ever After
This won’t take long!
The night after the failed assault on Paris, Medoro convinces his friend Cloridano to help him retrieve the corpse of their fallen master, Dardinello, from among the dead. Along the way they murder as many sleeping Christian knights as possible.
Medoro invokes Celene to shed sufficient light to find his king’s body, and the two begin the arduous task of carrying it back to their camp. The coming dawn betrays them to Zerbino and his squad of Scottish knights, who quickly give chase. Cloridano runs off on his own, leaving Medoro to carry the body.
Zerbino and his knights catch up to Medoro and take him captive. A fight breaks out when Cloridano fires arrows into the crowd. He dies and Medoro, first spared but then gravely wounded by a craven knight, is left for dead on the ground. Zerbino runs off to punish the knight who broke the short truce.
Angelica finds the wounded knight and uses her magical skills to heal him from the brink of death. She helps him bury Dardinello and Cloridano, then repairs to a shepherd’s cottage for his recovery. There the two fall in love and live out an intense, idyllic courtship. They marry and depart for Catay.
While wandering their way through Spain the two encounter Orlando, now completely furioso. Medoro bravely attempts to drive off the mad count but Orlando kills his horse (with a punch!) and it is up to Angelica, using her magical ring, to dupe Orlando into running off.
In post script, Malagigi tells Rinaldo that Medoro and Angelica have already made it halfway to Catay and are out of the reach of all the furious suitors.
It just feels terribly wrong, doesn’t it, that a barely-there nobody character ends up with Angelica? And yet that’s one of the strongest points of the morality tale of the poem: you don’t deserve love, win love, rationalize love, or compel love. Angelica gets to choose! He’s something like a redemption of that no-good, treacherous Paris.