Rinaldo and Armida

Tasso’s Rinaldo is one of the fiercest and most honorable soldiers fighting in the crusades. Armida is a pagan sorceress who has been sent by her uncle to lead important soldiers, including Rinaldo, away from the Crusades. Just as Armida is about to kill the sleeping Rinaldo she falls in love with him and holds him hostage in her enchanted garden in Syria where he falls in love with her. Eventually he is discovered by his fellow soldiers, Ubaldo and Carlo, and forced to leave Armida. Later Rinaldo is greeted by the Magus of Ascalon and inspired to return to battle once the magician displays the feats of Rinaldo’s ancestors within the soldier’s shield. ¬†While this is only a subplot it fits well into the entirety of Gerusalemme Liberata and a moral message Tasso was trying to convey, that being, personal sacrifice for a greater good.

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