This is a gripping account of the tale of Nisus and Euryalus
after the fall of Troy, of how they follow Aeneas in a bid to settle and build a new Troy and of how the ghosts of the past and a thirst for revenge can subvert the best plans.
The homoerotic force of this affecting reenactment was felt far more strongly than in any other production I have seen, including the Guthrie's mounting of the entire tetralogy in the early 1990s, and underscored the losses of war--youth, love, beauty--through a motif that recalled the deaths of Nisus and Euryalus
in Virgil's Aeneid.
The primary subtext is the epic model of Virgil's Nisus and Euryalus
. But Giton himself explicitly invokes a tragic precedent, that of Jocasta interceding between Eteocles and Polynices(79).
Ariosto `follow[s] the instincts of pitiful Aeneas away from the central forces of Empire, and towards the peripheries of Virgil's text, (especially the Nisus and Euryalus
isolates as such 'emotionally moving episodes' the stories of Dido and of Nisus and Euryalus
, and he makes them exemplary for his approach.
One night Nisus and Euryalus
, two Trojan youths, entered the camp of the sleeping Latins and slaughtered a great many of them before they were discovered and put to death.