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Literature / Orlando Innamorato

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Orlando Innamorato ("Orlando In Love") by Matteo Maria Boiardo is an epic poem written for the "Matter of France," aka the exploits of King Charlemagne ascribed in French medieval literature. This poem has a rather tumultuous history. It was published between 1483 (first two books) and 1495 (third book published separately, first complete edition). And then it was famously left unfinished and was later completed in Orlando Furioso.


The poem is a collection of various subplots. They first begin with the quest of beautiful Angelica by love-smitten Orlando (better known as Rolando). Then comes the defense of Albracca by Angelica's father, the King of Cathay, against the beleaguering Tartars. And then with the Moors' siege of Paris and their struggle with Charlemagne's army.

Tropes found in Orlando Innamorato:

  • Blood Knight: Ruggerio is a lover of combat. Exploited by Brunello when he asks for his horse armor, seeing some war games beyond of a wall of glass.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The thief Brunello not only takes Angelica's magic rings but also Sacripante's horse and Marfisa's sword. Marfisa goes ballistic at this slight and chases down Brunello. Ultimately, he manages to get away with this.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Brunello goads Ruggiero out of Atlante's enchanted garden by proposing he and Agramante told a tournament of champion right outside. Ruggerio falls for it hook, line, and sinker.
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  • Revenge: The Saracen king Agramante wants to invade and beat Charlemagne himself to avenge his father Troiano, previously killed by Orlando.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The sorcerer Atlante foresaw the death of Ruggerio and confined him to a garden of illusions to keep him safe.

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