Patronage and Imprisonment
This chapter focuses on Tasso’s tortured relationship with Alonso II d’Este and its implications for his major writings, especially the Aminta and Gerusalemme Liberata. It places the poet’s career in the context of his father’s, and relates his revision of the Gerusalemme Liberata into the Gerusalemme Conquistata, and its corresponding re-dedication to the Aldobrandini, to his changing perception of the aesthetic and moral implications of patronage. The views of courtly service advanced in dialogues such as Il Malpiglio overo de la Corte are argued to give eloquent expression to the sense of entrapment Tasso witnessed in his father’s career, while his own imprisonment in Sant’Anna literalized the loss of personal and artistic ‘liberty’ poets traditionally feared.
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