Orlando Furioso Cast of Characters: Angelica

Cantos I (Rinaldo and Sacripant), II (Wicked Hermit), VIII (Slavers), X (Orc), XI (Rogero Escape) XII (Magical Villa), XIX (Medoro), XXIX (Orlando Furioso), XLII (Post-script)

Daughter of Galaphron, Sister of Argalia, Princess of Catay, Wife of Medoro

Classical Type: Helen

TLDR: Helen of Troy Survives Repeated Rape Attempts, Inspires Titular Character’s Madness, and Disappears to an Improbable Happily Ever After


Man, women who can’t fight have it rough in this poem. Continue reading Orlando Furioso Cast of Characters: Angelica

Orlando Furioso Cast of Characters: Rogero

Cantos: II (recounted by Pinabel), III (d’Este prophecy), IV (Atlantes tower), VII (Alcina’s Isle), VIII (Escape), X (Orc and Angelica), XI (Rape of Angelica), XII (Magical Villa), XIII (Prophecy and Failed Rescue), XXII (Pinabel’s Tower), XXV (Richardetto and Agrismonte), XXVI (Marphisa, Rescue, Magic Fountain, Rodomonte and Mandricardo), XXVII (Agramant’s Tournament),  XXX (Kills Mandricardo), XXXV (Challenged by Bradamante), XXXVI (Marphisa-Bradamante love battle), XXXVII (Marganor’s Tower), XXXVIII (Fights Rinaldo), XL (Dudon in Marseilles), XLI (Shipwreck), XLIII (Rescued by Orlando), XLIV (Travels East), XLV (Defeats Bradamante), XLVI (Marriage Feast)

True Love of Bradamante, founder of House d’Este, son of Rogero and Galaciella, twin brother of Marphisa, ward of Atlantes, later King of Bulgaria

Coat of Arms: Argent Eagle on Azure Field (Hector’s Ensign); White Unicorn on Crimson Field (Incognito in the East); Imperial Eagle on Crimson (Leo’s arms).  Wields the magical sword Balisarda and rides the horse Frontino

Classical Type: Hector, Odysseus, Aeneas

TLDR: Meta-Main Character Does It All, Gets It All, and as Final Reward Delays Death Until the Epilogue


This will be long. Continue reading Orlando Furioso Cast of Characters: Rogero

Orlando Furioso Cast of Characters: Brandimart

Canto VIII, XII (trapped in villa), XX (released from villa), XXIV (name-drop), XXVII (name-drop/prolepsis), XXXI (Paris, Rodomonte’s Bridge), XXXVIII (name-drop), XXXIX (Orlando), XL (Biserta), XLI (Lampedusa), XLII (dies), XLIII (funeral)

Raised in The Sylvan Fort by Bardino, Best Friend of Orlando, Lover of Flordelis, son of Monodantes, Brother of Gigliantes

Classical Type:



Noble Second Tier Knight Dies Exactly As You Would Expect If You Read Epics Continue reading Orlando Furioso Cast of Characters: Brandimart

ERC Presents: Canto II

The Abbey Boys keep plugging along with their recordings of Orlando Furioso.  The rate of progress is comical, unless you already know Abbey Boys.  Then it’s not surprising that a weekend task takes six months.  But it beats doing homework!

If they keep this up they will get pretty good by the time they graduate.  The ERC nerds experimented a little with scoring the recitation and tantalized me with an ultimately disappointing promise of a “drop” (as in, “Wait for the…”).  One day I’ll score a student-artist willing to do 6-10 drawings of the scenes of a canto for a text-and-slide show on YT or something.

Anyway, enjoy the fruit of their labors:


Rose Punts??

Not sure how I could have missed this after five or ten re-reads, but the ERC nerds spotted what seems to be a blatant punt in Rose’s translation of Orlando Furioso (XIII.7).

When him I after in the field espied,
Performing wondrous feats of chivalry,
I was surprised by Love, ere I descried
That freedom in my Love, so rash a guide,
I lay this unction to my phantasy,
That no unseemly place my heart possest,
Fixed on the worthiest in the world and best.

But Mr. Alspaugh, Mr. Alspaugh!  I thought Orlando Furioso was composed in ottava rima!  Doesn’t ottava mean eight?

Erk.  Yes.  Rose has omitted line four, the second b rhyme.  Good heavens, man, why?  To the textual criticism we go!

What follows is an epic misadventure leading to greater knowledge.   Continue reading Rose Punts??

ERC: Rhyming Furioso

A mortifying experience at the most recent gathering of the Epic Recitation Club.  Caveat lector: the punch line may be a bit more crude than some audiences would find appealing.

Normally when we are reciting Orlando Furioso, I am absorbed in the story and thinking about what to comment on after each stanza (or so).  It’s usually either a story reminder, a clarification of tone, or the meaning of archaisms.

My bright boys, however, have an unusual capacity for focusing on the rhyming scheme of the stanza.  Perhaps they are just looking ahead at their stanza in anticipation, but they catch the slant rhymes and outright oofs! that Rose makes in his translation.  They delight in exaggerating their delivery to underscore the deviations from standard pronunciation.

A trivial example from XII.5, to illustrate: Continue reading ERC: Rhyming Furioso

Return of the ERC: Magical Villa

That nerdiest of Abbey Boy adventures, the Epic Recitation Club, has made its triumphant return.  Well, more like under-the-radar, since we have somehow managed to get left off the official roster of clubs each year for a while now.  But the boys hold me hostage each Friday after school once again and our slow plod through the poem resumes.

The officers have taken it upon themselves to get us organized in a way that is both admirable and absurd.  Not wanting to haggle each week over “how far did we get last time?” they have created a Schoology page for the club, appointed administrators, and added members.  It took about 30 minutes of our meeting time a few weeks ago to set it up.

The only use of this web page, I stress, is to have an update box on the front page where they can write down which canto/stanza we stop at each week.  That’s right, the smartest boys in the Washington, D.C. area are using satellites and servers in place of a bookmark. Continue reading Return of the ERC: Magical Villa

Orlando Furioso Cast of Characters: Bradamante

Sacripant I, Pinabel II, Melissa and Merlin III, Brunello and Atlantes IV, Return to Melissa VII, Magical Villa XIII, Kills Pinabel XXII, Astolpho XXIII, Lovesick XXX, Tristram’s Tower XXXII, Rodomonte and Arles XXXV, Aristeia XXXVI, Marganor XXXVII, Return to Charlemagne XXXVIII, Broken Truce XXXIX, Awaiting Rogero XLII, Wedding Controversy XLIV, Marriage Contest XLV, Wedding XLVI (name drop X, XI, XIV, XX, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XL, XLI, )

Daughter of Aymon and Beatrice, Sister of Rinaldo, Twin Sister of Richardetto, Cousin of Orlando and Astolpho, Peer of Charlemagne, True Love of Rogero, Co-Founder of the d’Este Family Line

Coat of Arms: White

Classical Type: Athena


Overpowered Proto-feminist Establishes Mad Cred for the Family Paying Ariosto’s Dime

Summary: Continue reading Orlando Furioso Cast of Characters: Bradamante

Orlando Furioso Cast of Characters: Gabrina

With Isabel in Cave XII, Flees XIII, Marphisa and Zerbino XX, Hermonides XXI, Pinabel Frame-up XXIII, Death XXIV

Wife of Argaeus of Servia, Archenemy of Hermonides of Holland, Slain by Odoric

Classical Type:

The Evil Queen Bavmorda


Eeeeeevil Woman Hangs Around Way Too Long, Finally Gets Her Due

Summary: Continue reading Orlando Furioso Cast of Characters: Gabrina