The Image of Muslims in Torquato Tasso’s <i>Le Gerusalemme liberata</i>
This paper examines Italian Renaissance poet Torquato Tasso’s epic poem titled Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered ). Tasso imaginatively narrates events and details from the siege of Antioch and Jerusalem in the First Crusade and compares historical Muslim characters with their Christian counterparts. Like other Orientalists, Tasso in his epic adopts a stereotypical image of Muslims and portrays them as savages and worshipers of idols. This paper explains these images, their sources, and the effects of representations by way of applying analytical and critical descriptive method. It will address Tasso’s epic style, blending specific titles of history and magic with his fantasy in his portrayal of Muslim characters as compared to their Christian counterparts. It concludes with a critique of the Orientalist practice of associating the Muslims with terrorism, violence, and inhumanity in contemporary Western culture.
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