Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Orlando, the renowned nephew of King Charlemagne and the mightiest paladin among his Twelve Peers. While Paris is under siege by the Saracens, he dreams an evil dream concerning his beloved Angelica, the beautiful princess of Cathay who has caused great dissension among Christian and pagan champions alike. Forsaking his knightly duties, he passes through the enemy lines and goes in search of the damsel. His quest takes him into many lands, and after many strange adventures he is driven mad by the distractions of love and jealousy. Throwing away his armor, he wanders naked and raving among savage beasts, so that all knights are filled with pity when they hear of his sad state. He recovers his sanity after Astolpho, an English knight, finds the wits of his deranged friend in a vial in the region of the moon. His mind restored, Orlando once more engages in valorous deeds and champions the Christian cause. One of his feats is the rescue of Rogero, a gallant Saracen knight now converted to Christianity, who has been cast away on a desert island.
Angelica, the princess of Cathay, who by her great beauty bewitches Orlando, Rinaldo, Ferrau, and Rogero, but in the end marries none of these paladins. Her true love is Medoro, a Saracen knight of lowly birth whom she nurses back to health after he has been wounded in battle. The cause of many misfortunes to others, she herself falls victim to an enchanter’s...
(The entire section is 1712 words.)
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