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]

Bradamante valorosa (1597) by Antonio Tempesta
First appearanceOrlando Innamorato
In-universe information
RelativesRinaldo (Brother)

Alardo (Brother)

Ricciardetto (Brother)

Guidon (Brother)

Duke Amon (Father)

Beatrice (Mother)

In Orlando Innamorato and Orlando Furioso edit

Bradamante, a female Christian knight in the service of Charlemagne, is the sister of Rinaldo and the daughter of Duke Amon, the duke of Dordognes.[4] She falls in love with a Saracen warrior named Ruggiero, but she 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.[5] She is described as wearing white, with a white shield and a crest of a pennon.[6]

She is one of the French warriors fighting during a Saracen invasion into France. She is in the middle of fighting a Saracen warrior, Rodomont, when another Saracen warrior, Ruggiero, informs her that Charlemagne is retreating. Bradamante tries to leave to join the rest of the French forces, but Rodomont keeps her from leaving. Ruggiero, finding Rodomont’s actions dishonorable, steps in to fight Rodomont to allow Bradamante to leave. However, Bradamante is unable to catch up to Charlemagne’s army and instead returns to Rodomont and Ruggiero, feeling guilty for leaving someone else to fight in her place. Rodomont is impressed with the honor of Ruggiero and Bradamante and rides off, leaving Ruggiero and Bradamante together. They are mutually impressed with one another and share their identities. Bradamante also removes her helmet, revealing to Ruggiero for the first time that she is a woman. An ambush then manages to separate them.[7]

The two lovers are separated many more times in the story, and Bradamante faces many challenges. She travels to a castle made of steel to rescue Ruggiero from the wizard Atlantes with the help of the sorceress Melissa and a magic ring,[8] escapes from a castle full of illusions,[9] and encounters many other difficulties.

After the lovers are reunited, Rinaldo grants Ruggiero his blessing to marry Bradamante. However, her parents reject the suitor even after Ruggiero converts to Christianity, preferring Leo, the son of the Greek emperor Constantine. Bradamante manages to convince King Charlemagne to decree that she will only marry a man who can withstand her in battle, greatly angering her parents, who nonetheless reluctantly agree. Ruggiero, meanwhile, sets off to kill Leo. On the way, he finds the Constantine’s forces battling the Bulgarians. Ruggiero immediately enters the battle to assist the Bulgarians, who had been losing, and manages to turn the tide of the battle. However, he is captured and imprisoned by the Greeks. Leo, impressed with Ruggiero’s valor, frees him. He then asks for a favor, and Ruggiero, grateful for his freedom, promises to grant whatever Leo asks. Leo, having learned of Bradamante’s challenge and knowing he isn’t strong enough to win against her, asks that Ruggiero fight Bradamante on his behalf. Ruggiero reluctantly keeps his promise and disguises himself as Leo to fight Bradamante. He wins the match and retreats to the woods, wishing to die. There, Leo finds him and asks what is wrong. After Ruggiero reveals his identity and that he is in love with Bradamante, Leo annuls the engagement to let Bradamante and Ruggiero wed.[10][11] At the end, their marriage gives rise to the noble House of Este, who were patrons to both Boiardo and Ariosto.[12][13]

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.[14][15][16] Bradamante and Ruggiero's romance is most likely made to parallel the romance of Angelica and Orlando. Bradamante and Ruggiero's love is reciprocated and honorable, whereas Orlando is driven mad with love and Angelica despises him. Bradamante also spends much of Orlando Furioso chasing down her love to save him, contrasting with Angelica, who spends most of the story running from Orlando.[17]

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).[18]

Several eponymous operas have been written about the heroine:

She also appears as a character in Handel's opera Alcina and Johann Adolph Hasse’s Il Ruggiero.

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).[21]

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.[22]

She appears as a Lancer class Servant in the mobile game Fate/Grand Order.

The mobile game Puzzles and Dragons has added her to their roster as "White Feathered Knight, Bradamante" with Active Skill "La Bella Paladina" and Leader Skill "I don't fraternize with weaklings".

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. ^ Ariosto, Ludovico (2009). Orlando furioso: a new verse translation. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 541. ISBN 978-0-674-03535-5.
  5. ^ Lang, Andrew (1905). The Red Romance Book. London: Longmans, Green, and Company. p. 345. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  6. ^ Ariosto, Ludovico (2009). Orlando furioso: a new verse translation. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. pp. 16, 18. ISBN 978-0-674-03535-5.
  7. ^ Thomas, Bulfinch (1979). Bulfinch's Mythology. Crown Publishers, Inc. pp. 696–698. ISBN 0-517-27415-9.
  8. ^ Ariosto, Ludovico (2009). Orlando furioso: a new verse translation. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. pp. 41–53. ISBN 978-0-674-03535-5.
  9. ^ Ariosto, Ludovico (2009). Orlando furioso: a new verse translation. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. pp. 259–267. ISBN 978-0-674-03535-5.
  10. ^ Bulfinch, Thomas (1913). The Age of Fable: or Beauties of Mythology. Vol. IV: Legends of Charlemagne. New York: Review of Reviews Co. ISBN 1-58734-082-8. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  11. ^ Ariosto, Lodovico (1962). Sir John Harington's Translation of Orlando Furioso. Southern Illinois University Press. pp. 535–566.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Giardina, Henry (24 June 2014). "Mad with Desire (Kind Of)". Paris Review. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  15. ^ DeSa Wiggins, Peter in Beecher, Donald; Ciavolella, Massimo; Fedi, Roberto (2003). Ariosto Today: Contemporary Perspectives. University of Toronto Press. p. 28. ISBN 0802029671.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Ariosto, Lodovico (1962). Sir John Harington's Translation of Orlando Furioso. Southern Illinois University Press. pp. IX.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Beecher, Donald; Ciavolella, Massimo; Fedi, Roberto (2003). Ariosto Today: Contemporary Perspectives. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press. p. 209. ISBN 0802029671.

Further reading edit