The Irresistible Beauty

There are many tales of the unfortunate woman who is so beautiful every man she meets falls in love with her. My favorite treatment of the theme is Angelica in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso where it’s treated with great humor. Angelica naturally ends up falling for a lowly shepherd. Usually it doesn’t turn out so well. Take Deidre who has a king fall for her, and with little choice she agrees to marry him, but then she falls for Naois (hero in the middle below). The other two guys are his loyal brothers. She’s looking over her shoulder at the king’s men in pursuit. The king’s magician has just turned the meadow across which they were fleeing into the sea. Next comes poisonous adders. Everybody dies, of course. Roots from the lovers’ graves entwine.

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