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Notable Images of Virtues and Vices

Character Types in Sir Philip Sidney's "New Arcadia</I> and Italian Romance Epic


Neda Jeny

When Sir Philip Sidney decided to rewrite his pastoral novel called Arcadia, he expanded it into a romance epic in prose, calling in mind the great Italian Renaissance epics of Ariosto and Tasso.
This book analyzes the way in which Sidney adapted the typical characters of the romance epics. Unlike the Italian authors, Sidney presented his characters so that they constantly invite the moral judgment of the reader, and he emphasized their inner lives, thereby making The New Arcadia the predecessor of the modern novel.
Contents: Influenced by Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata, Sidney put in The New Arcadia the typical characters of romance epics, but with significant adaptations, and inviting the moral judgment of the reader, which Ariosto and Tasso did not do.