[Milton-L] "Earth with hell to mingle and involve"

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Tue Sep 3 01:04:57 EDT 2013

The 'mixing up' of earth, or even heaven, and hell is one of the best
known features of Milton's PL.
A revolutionary concept, yes, but not for the first time in Christian
Epic. Already Ludovico Ariosto in his long poem "Orlando Furioso"
loved to merge quotations from Dante's hell (Inferno), paradise
(Purgatorio) and heaven (Paradiso), in a sort of witty, half-hidden
game for his most learned readers.

But one of the most unexpecyed, intriguing examples of this in classic
Catholic poetry comes from Torquato Tasso, both in his "Gerusalemme
Liberata" (1581) and in "Gerusalemme Conquistata" (1593), again
'involving' Dante. The passage is the following:
here commented:


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