Interest in Ariosto
This chapter looks into Ronsard’s inspiration from the career of Ludovico Ariosto, an Italian poet, in tracing the evolution of Ronsard’s early style from the forced antiquarianism of his odes to the self-conscious stylization of Les Amours. Ronsard’s obsessive habits of revision attest to his commitment as a writer, revealing second thoughts about his earlier inspired verse, the aspirations of subsequent verse in relation to his evolving aesthetic, his efforts to please new patrons and a changing readership, and his canny attempts to cash in on a growing reputation. Ariosto’s career impressed Ronsard for several reasons, but two stand out. Ariosto’s lyric and epic poetry challenged Ronsard by accommodating normative Petrarchan elegance to sturdier qualities of classical form, but it also alerted him to possibilities of style embedded in both, and especially to a demanding exercise of craftsmanship and skill that would compromise the Neoplatonic doctrine of furor.
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