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Dante and the “Dead White Dude” Dilemma: Exploring the Complexities of Diversity and Controversy in Medieval Literature

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.

Dan Brown and the Case of the Wrong Dante

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.

Guilt and Creativity in the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer

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.

Real and imaginary journeys in the later Middle Ages

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.

‘That melodious linguist’: Birds in Medieval Christian and Islamic Cosmography

“Birds,” writes Albertus Magnus, “generally call more than other animals. This is due to the lightness of their spirits.”

Avignon vs. Rome: Dante, Petrarch, Catherine of Siena

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.

The dissemination of visions of the otherworld in England and northern France c.1150-c.1321

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).

Trees of Gold. Royal Adaptations of Paradise in Dante’s Purgatory

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.

Death and Retribution: Medieval Visions of the End of Judas the Traitor

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.

Dreaming in Dante’s Purgatorio

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 Aeneid and The Inferno: Social Evolution

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.

MyDante: An Online Environment for Contemplative and Collaborative Reading

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.

Jerusalem in Medieval Christian Thought

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.

Why Dante damned Francesca da Rimini

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.

Reading about Lancelot in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde

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.”

Curses and laughter: The ethics of political invective in the comic poetry of high and late medieval Italy

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

Chaucer’s Inferno: Dantean Burlesques in The Canterbury Tales

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.

Boccaccio, Cavalcanti’s Canzone “Donna me prega” and Dino’s Glosses

Boccaccio, Cavalcanti’s Canzone “Donna me prega” and Dino’s Glosses Usher, Jonathan (University of Edinburgh) Heliotropia 2.1 (2004) Abstract The enigmatic, indeed disturbing figure of Guido Cavalcanti (1259–1300) exercised the imagination of his contemporaries, especially of his fellow poets. Without naming him once, Dante talks about Guido in his youthful work, the Vita nuova, telling us […]

Beyond Beatrice: from Love Poetry to a Poetry of Love

Beyond Beatrice: from Love Poetry to a Poetry of Love By Brian Reynolds Paper given at the Fu Jen Fourth Annual Medieval Conference: Chivalry and Knighthood in Middle Ages (2003) Introduction: In this essay I shall consider how Dante combines elements from the Marian tradition with the conventions of courtly love in drawing together literary, […]

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