[Milton-L] The TeaM: Enter Hamlet

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Wed Jan 5 10:49:27 EST 2011

Ivi, come la fama a noi divulga,
Sono ampissimi stagni, e nel profondo
Letto e fra le sue superbe orride rive,
Quasi emule del mar alte paludi;
E in gel converse, anzi indurate e strette,
Quasi in lucente adamantino smalto,
De le veloci rote il corso e ’l pondo
Sostengon del gravoso ed ampio carro
Che gli animali ignoti a’ nostri sensi
Sogliono tirar, la fronte alta e superba
Di più ramose armati e lunghe corna,
Facendo lunga strada al grave plaustro
La ’ve dianzi correa spalmata nave.

_____Torquato Tasso, Il Mondo Creato 3.456-468

There, as Fame to us discloses,
Are pools most wide and, with deep
Beds and superb, horrid banks,
Deep fens which emulate the sea;
Ice-turned, hardened indeed and gripped
Like into shining adamant enamel,
They carry the run and weight of the speedy
Wheels of the big, burdensome car
Animals to our senses unknown
Draw – their forehead high and proud,
With several long beamy horns armed –
Long conveying the heavy vehicle
Where, before, tarred ships used to run.

“There” means Scandinavia: Sweden, Norway, Lapland. As far as I know,
it is just the second time that reindeer are mentioned in Italian
And the first time was----- by Torquato Tasso in his tragedy “Il Re
Torrismondo” (King Thoresmond, or godknows), which he first published
in 1587, in the years between the Gerusalemme Liberata and the Mondo
Creato. Il Re Torrismondo, innovatively set in Gothia i.e. current
Finland, about 6th century AD, has almost never been performed on
stage, but it would deserve some more bit of glory since it is the
ONLY Shakespearean drama in Italian literature. Shakespeare himself
based his Hamlet on, more or less, the same sources read by Tasso.

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