• Characterization and eschatological realism from Dante to Petrarch

    Author(s):
    Laurence Hooper (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    CLCS Medieval, CLCS Renaissance and Early Modern, GS Poetry and Poetics, Literature and Law, LLC Medieval and Renaissance Italian
    Subject(s):
    Dante studies, Medieval Italian literature, Medieval poetry, Law and literature, Realism, Dante, Character
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Petrarch, Beatific Vision, Legal fiction
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M67W08
    Abstract:
    This article considers the characterization of blessed souls in Dante’s Commedia (1307–21) and Petrarch’s Canzoniere (c. 1356–74) and Triumphi (c. 1352–74). It argues that eschatological realism – the detailed representation of souls in the afterlife – lies at the heart of these three works, each of which depicts a deceased beloved who now resides in Paradise. Dante’s Paradiso navigates a range of doctrinal and literary challenges to incorporate its blessed characters into the poem’s continuum of interlocutors. Although the Commedia culminates with a first-person, mystical experience, the structural importance of third-person voices to the canticle demonstrates the centrality of realist characterization to the overall project. Petrarch’s works, meanwhile, reject Dante’s broad and varied descriptions of beatitude but nonetheless assert a more restricted eschatological realism channelled through the interpersonal connection with Laura. The beloved’s combination of exemplarity and historicity sets up the paradigm that defines the other characters in Petrarch’s narrative, including the poetic ‘I’.
    Notes:
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    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Scheduled
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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