Lodovico Ariosto, the poet (1474-1533), was born in Reggio, and his father's house is still preserved.
It is desultory to a degree; it is a base libel on religion and history; it differs from its model Ariosto in being, not, as Ariosto is, a mixture of romance and burlesque, but a sometimes tedious tissue of burlesque pure and simple; and it is exposed to the objection - often and justly urged - that much of its fun depends simply on the fact that there were and are many people who believe enough in Christianity to make its jokes give pain to them and to make their disgust at such jokes piquant to others.
Among his principal works upon these subjects may be noted the four volumes of Letteratura della nuova Italia (1860-1910); his essays upon Goethe, Ariosto, Shakespeare, Corneille, and the Poetry of Dante; his two volumes Storia della storiografia italiana del secolo XIX.
Meredith, the What is living and what is dead of the Philosophy of Hegel (Macmillan), and the Breviary of Aesthetic (Rice Institute, Texas), the volume Shakespeare, Ariosto and Corneille (Henry Holt & Co., New York), and the Poetry of Dante by Douglas Ainslie.
" The Charlemagne Legends.") The most famous heroes who are associated with him are Roland, praefect of the marches of Brittany, the Orlando of Ariosto, slain at Roncevaux (Roncevalles) in the Pyrenees, and his friend and rival Oliver (Olivier); Ogier the Dane, the Holger Danske of Hans Andersen, and Huon of Bordeaux, probably both introduced from the Arthurian cycle; Renaud (Rinaldo) of Montauban, one of the four sons of Aymon, to whom the wonderful horse Bayard was presented by Charlemagne; the traitor Doon of Mayence; Ganelon, responsible for the treachery that led to the death of Roland; Archbishop Turpin, a typical specimen of muscular Christianity; William Fierabras, William au court nez, William of Toulouse, and William of Orange (all probably identical), and Vivien, the nephew of the latter and the hero of Aliscans.
The Charlemagne legend was fully developed in Italy, where it was to have later a great poetic development at the hands of Boiardo, Ariosto and Tasso.
To this class belong the fairies of Boiardo, Ariosto and Spenser.
And Charles V., Ariosto and Montaigne.
The simple house of Ariosto, erected by himself after 1526, in which he died in 1532, lies farther west.
He was the patron of Ariosto from 1518 onwards.
During his leisure he wrote a translation of Ariosto (1781), and Memoires sur la vie de Turgot (1782).
But the victor's laurels were reserved for Ariosto, whose Orlando Furioso is the purest and most perfect extant example of Renaissance poetry.
Even the comedies of the best authors are too observant of Latin precedents, although some pieces of Machiavelli, Ariosto, Aretino, Cecchi and Gelli are admirable for vivid delineation of contemporary manners.
But the perfect plastic art of Italy, the pure art of the Cinque Cento, the painting of Raphael, Da Vinci, Titian and Correggio, the sculpture of Donatello, Michelangelo and Sansovino, the architecture of Bramante, Omodeo and the Venetian Lombardi, however much imbued with the spirit of the classical revival, takes rank beside the poetry of Ariosto as a free intelligent product of the Renaissance.
It expressed itself at last in the monumental work of Don Quixote, which places Cervantes beside Rabelais, Ariosto and Shakespeare as one of the four supreme exponents of the Renaissance.
What Ariosto is for Italy, Cervantes for Spain, Erasmus for Holland, Luther for Germany, Shakespeare for England, that is Rabelais for France.
He modelled himself on the Roman theatre as reflected by the plays of Ariosto, and he avowedly wrote the Estrangeiros to combat the school of Gil Vicente, while in it, as in Os Vilhalpandos, the action takes place in Italy.