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Bradamante Valorosa (Antonio Tempesta).jpg
Bradamante valorosa (1597) by Antonio Tempesta
First appearanceOrlando Innamorato
RelativesRinaldo (brother)

Bradamante (occasionally spelled Bradamant) is a fictional knight heroine in two epic poems of the Renaissance: Orlando Innamorato by Matteo Maria Boiardo and Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto.[1] Since the poems exerted a wide influence on later culture, she became a recurring character in Western art.[2][3]

In Orlando Innamorato and Orlando Furioso[edit]

Bradamante, a female Christian knight, is the sister of Rinaldo and falls in love with a Saracen warrior named Ruggiero, but refuses to marry him unless he converts from Islam. An expert in combat, she wields a magical lance that unhorses anyone it touches, and rescues Ruggiero from being imprisoned by the wizard Atlantes.[4]

The two lovers are separated many times in the story, and her parents reject the suitor even after Ruggiero converts to Christianity, preferring a nobleman called Leo. She decides to marry whoever withstands her in combat and Ruggiero overcomes the challenge.[5] At the end, their marriage gives rise to the noble House of Este, who were patrons to both Boiardo and Ariosto.[6][7]

The poems drew from legends of Charlemagne, chansons de geste, and blended recurring motifs found in the Matter of France and the Matter of Britain.[8][9][10]

In later works[edit]

Bradamante and Fiordispina (1632–1635) by Guido Reni

In 1582, French dramatist Robert Garnier wrote a tragicomedy named Bradamante that further develops the love story between the heroine and Roger (Ruggiero).[11]

Several eponymous operas have been written about the heroine:

She also appears as a character in Handel's opera Alcina.

Bradamante appears as one of the leading characters in several novels. For example, in Italo Calvino's surrealistic, highly ironic 1959 novel Il Cavaliere inesistente (The Nonexistent Knight).[14]

In cinema, she is depicted by Barbara De Rossi in the 1983 Italian film Paladini-storia d'armi e d'amori (also known as Paladins—the story of love and arms or Hearts and Armour) – a film based on the legends surrounding the Peers of Charlemagne.[15] She appears as a Lancer class Servant in the mobile game Fate/Grand Order.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Calvino, Italo (23 October 2012). "Bradamante e Marfisa". Orlando furioso di Ludovico Ariosto raccontato da Italo Calvino [Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto narrated by Italo Calvino] (in Italian). Segrate, Italy: Edizioni Mondadori. p. 180. ISBN 978-88-520-3018-5. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  2. ^ Shemek, Deanna (1998). Ladies Errant: Wayward Women and Social Order in Early Modern Italy. Durham, NC, USA: Duke University Press. p. 13. ISBN 0-8223-2167-X. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  3. ^ Stoppino, Eleonora (2012). Genealogies of Fiction: Women Warriors and the Dynastic Imagination in the Orlando Furioso. Bronx, New York: Fordham University Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-8232-4037-1. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  4. ^ Lang, Andrew (1905). The Red Romance Book. London: Longmans, Green, and Company. p. 345. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  5. ^ Bulfinch, Thomas (1913). The Age of Fable: or Beauties of Mythology. Volume IV: Legends of Charlemagne. New York: Review of Reviews Co. ISBN 1-58734-082-8. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  6. ^ Merriam-Webster, Inc. (1995). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. Springfield, MA, USA: Merriam-Webster. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-87779-042-6. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  7. ^ Reynolds, Barbara (30 August 1975). "Introduction". In Arisoto, Ludovico (ed.). Orlando Furioso: Part I. Translated by Reynolds, Barbara. New York, USA: Penguin Group. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-101-49280-2. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  8. ^ Giardina, Henry (24 June 2014). "Mad with Desire (Kind Of)". Paris Review. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  9. ^ DeSa Wiggins, Peter in Beecher, Donald; Ciavolella, Massimo; Fedi, Roberto (2003). Ariosto Today: Contemporary Perspectives. University of Toronto Press. p. 28. ISBN 0802029671.
  10. ^ Ward, Adolphus William; Waller, Alfred Rayney; Trent, William Peterfield; Erskine, John; Sherman, Stuart Pratt; Van Doren, Carl, eds. (1907–1921). "Chapter XIII: Metrical Romances, 1200–1500". The Cambridge History of English and American Literature. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. p. 13. ISBN 1-58734-073-9. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  11. ^ Stone, Donald (2015). "The Place of Garnier's Bradamante in Dramatic History". Journal of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association. 26 (1): 260–271. doi:10.1179/aulla.1966.26.1.007. ISSN 0001-2793.
  12. ^ Galvani, Livio Niso (Giovanni Salvioli) (1879). I Teatri Musicali di Venezia nel Secolo XVII (1637-1700): Memorie Storiche e Bibliografiche [The Musical Theatre of Venice in the 17th Century (1637-1700): Historical and Bibliographical Memoir] (in Italian). Milan, Italy: Arnaldo Forni Editore. p. 33. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  13. ^ a b c Clément, Félix; Larousse, Pierre (1881). Dictionnaire des Opéras [Dictionary of Operas] (in French). Paris, France: Administration du Grand Dictionnaire Universel. p. 119. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  14. ^ Bloom, Harold (2002). Italo Calvino: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide. Broomall, PA, USA: Chelsea House. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-7910-6824-3. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  15. ^ Beecher, Donald; Ciavolella, Massimo; Fedi, Roberto (2003). Ariosto Today: Contemporary Perspectives. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press. p. 209. ISBN 0802029671.