[Milton-L] The TeaM: Star Wars

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Wed Dec 8 04:26:41 EST 2010

Da l’altra, verso il Polo opposto a l’Orse,
Presso il torto viaggio è il fiero mostro
A cui fu ignuda esposta in riva a l’acque
Andromeda legata al duro scoglio.
E par che ’n cielo ancor di lei ricerchi
Già lontana, sicura in parti eccelse,
Ricoverata d’Aquilone a l’aura. [*]

_____Torquato Tasso, Il Mondo Creato 2.421-427

On the other side, by the Bears-facing Pole,
Along the ring-way [**] is the fierce monster
To which they exposed, naked on the shore,
Andromeda to hard stone tied up.
And still It seems to be searching for her,
Who’s far away now, safe in the highest places,
Sheltered by the North wind breath.

[*] “e l’aure” in the source, but it is a misprint; see the 19th
century copy of MC that can be dowloaded in .pdf format from Google
[**] the Zodiac

A “must” in Renaissance Art and Literature: the myth of Perseus and Andromeda.
Tasso identifies the monster in that myth, the Orc, with the
constellation of the Dragon; and he creates a vivid scene where the
Orc, as a constellation, still tries to eat Andromeda --- but it is
too late: the woman has been turned into a far-away star, beyond its
If my memory happens not to be worse than usual, Dante did not depict
this episode. Nor do I remember if Milton did [replies will be
welcome]. Anyway, such dynamic renderings of the constellations and
their “stories”, after Ovid’s poems and Renaissance poets and artists,
will enjoy a new Gold Age in the 19th century in the paintings by
Gustave Moreau.

More important is the fact that Tasso here mentions Andromeda, but not
Perseus, who in his turn is mentioned in 2.392 ff as a “victor” but
without explaining that his victory had been against the Orc in order
to save Andromeda. It is a sample of the anti-structural,
deconstructionist making of Il Mondo Creato.
The same “shift”, much more remarkably, will occur with the creation
of Eve (see below).

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