Why does Dante still speak to us with great urgency and power, and how is it that he remains accessible despite the seemingly-vast distance in time and culture between his world and ours?
While literature programs should be more diversified, it is still possible to hear from marginalized voices and discuss current controversial issues through older canonical texts. Dante Alighieri does this exceptionally well in his Divine Comedy.
In Brown’s book, Professor Robert Langdon is pitted against an adversary who is a Dante fanatic. Bertrand Zobrist, a biochemist, is ‘a proponent of the Population Apocalypse Equation’, the alleged mathematical recognition that only a mass extinction event can save our planet.
It’s that time of year again – the mad scramble for the perfect Christmas gift for the historian, nerd, avid reader on your list. Here are a few suggestions for you – new releases for December and January!
I argue that as Chaucer develops his own expansive, questioning poetics in The House of Fame and The Canterbury Tales, he problematises the principle of allegory on which the legitimacy of literary discourse was primarily based in medieval culture and the final fragments of The Canterbury Tales see Chaucer struggling, increasingly, to reconcile the boldness and independence of his poetic vision with the demands of his faith.
For a proper understanding of the actions of men in the past it is necessary to have some idea of how they conceived the world and their place in it, yet for the medieval period there is a serious inbalance in the sources.
“Birds,” writes Albertus Magnus, “generally call more than other animals. This is due to the lightness of their spirits.”
In the fourteenth century the image of ancient Rome as Babylon was transformed into the positive idea of Rome as both a Christian and a classical ideal.
This thesis examines the dissemination of visions of the otherworld in the long thirteenth century (c.1150-1321) by analysing the work of one enthusiast for such visions, Helinand of Froidmont, and studying the later transmission of three, contrasting accounts: the vision of the monk of Eynsham (c.1196), the vision of St. Fursa (c.656) and the vision of Gunthelm (s.xiiex).
Many people have remarked on the genius of Sylvia Plath’s poetry. However, it has come to my attention that Plath has been grossly misunderstood by her critics, such as the famous critic, Harold Bloom who left Plath out of his book The Western Canon.
Dante’s vision of afterlife, expressed in his masterpiece the Divine Comedy, starts in the real world: he finds himself lost in a wood, as a metaphor of his difficult position in earthly life being exiled from his patria, the city of Florence.
Although being described in the Book of Job as “the land of gloom and chaos” (“terra ubi umbra mortis et nullus ordo” Iob 10:22), Hell for Christian tradition was not a region of disorder and chaos, but a realm of well ordered justice.
“Yes by Saint Patrick …. Touching this vision here It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you” (Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5)
Unlike today, when we expect romance to yield tangible results, bards of the Middle Ages who sang about their desires never expected their true love to reciprocate.
Three successive nights on the mountain of Purgatory, Dante pauses to rest, engaging in regenerative sleep. As he sleeps, he experiences three distinct morning-dreams, describing each in detail.
The similarity between Dante’s The Inferno and Book VI of Virgil’s The Aeneid is, in many cases, clear. Both stories are written as Epic journeys. The Aeneid follows the journey of Aeneas from a sacked Troy to Italy, where he begins a new life and starts to build a new city for the homeless Trojans.
From the first through the fourteenth centuries, a succession of solutions to the problem of these virtuous pagans evolved. For the Early Church, an attractive solution was that Christ descended into Hell to convert the souls he found there.
Drawing on recent work on the social history of the book and the politics of reading, this essay considers the texts under question as social products, whose meaning is not just determined by the author’s initial intentions, but is further shaped in the process of production, dissemination, and reception as a result of negotiation among several parties in a given historical moment.
This paper explores the tensions between individual and collaborative aspects of reading in the context of MyDante, a digital environment for the study of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
In the prophetic tradition, the dwelling of God is understood as a spiritual one. Yet, in spite of the expressed manner in which Jerusalem was called The Holy City, an element of imperfection remained.
The vast majority of Dante’s readers have found Francesca da Rimini an acutely sympathetic figure-a tragic heroine. Yet Dante damned her, pronouncing a stern and challenging moral judgment.
This book is the central one of Troilus and Criseyde’s five books, with the sexual union of Troilus with Criseyde forming the climax and turning-point of the entire plot-structure, condensed at the start of the work by Chaucer in the words “fro woe to wele and after out of joie.”
Modern criticism tends to treat medieval invective as a playfully subversive but marginal poetic game with minimal ethical weight. Instead, I aim to restore these poetic productions to their original context: the history, law, and custom of Tuscan cities
Like Dante, Chaucer composed in the vernacular rather than in Latin, organized his work by means of the frame story of a guided pilgrimage, and included himself as a character in the journey that he describes. Yet Chaucer gives each of these elements a carnivalesque turn, so that the serious matter of Dante’s Commedia becomes, in The Canterbury Tales, the stuff of comedy.