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CVSP 202: DANTE Christian Thought Expressed through Poetry DAVID CURRELL.

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Presentation on theme: "CVSP 202: DANTE Christian Thought Expressed through Poetry DAVID CURRELL."— Presentation transcript:

1 CVSP 202: DANTE Christian Thought Expressed through Poetry DAVID CURRELL

2 THE END

3 Contents Beginnings, Middles The Divine Comedy : Christian and Classical The Divine Comedy : Structure and Narrative Medieval reading practices Dante and Florence: politics and exile

4 Beginnings, Middles “Midway along the journey of our life…”

5 Beginnings, Middles “Midway along the journey of our life…” Dante Alighieri ( )

6 Beginnings, Middles “Midway along the journey of our life…” Dante Alighieri ( ) Commencement of the poem’s narrative 1300 (precisely on eve of Good Friday)

7 Beginnings, Middles “Midway along the journey of our life…” Dante Alighieri ( ) Commencement of the poem’s narrative 1300 (precisely on eve of Good Friday) “Middle Ages”

8 CLASSICALCHRISTIAN

9 CLASSICALCHRISTIAN  Reason (philosophy)  Aristotle  Virgil, Aeneid (poetry) “Greater honor still they deigned to grant me: they welcomed me as one of their own group, so that I numbered sixth among such minds” ( Inferno IV.100-2)  City-state (Florence)  VIRGIL as guide

10 CLASSICALCHRISTIAN  Reason (philosophy)  Aristotle  Virgil, Aeneid (poetry) “Greater honor still they deigned to grant me: they welcomed me as one of their own group, so that I numbered sixth among such minds” ( Inferno IV.100-2)  City-state (Florence)  VIRGIL as guide  Faith (theology)  St. Augustine ( Confessions, City of God )  St. Thomas Aquinas  City of God (as King) (“Men, therefore, needed the restraint of laws, needed a ruler able to at least discern the towers of the True city.” ( Purgatorio XVI.94-6)  BEATRICE as guide

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12 CLASSICALCHRISTIAN “ Io non Enëa, io non Paulo sono” “ I am not Aeneas, I am not Paul” ( Inferno II.32)

13 Dante’s Translators

14 STRUCTURENARRATIVE

15 STRUCTURENARRATIVE  3 spaces (hell, purgatory, heaven)  further subdivisions: circles (hell) terraces (purgatory) spheres (heaven)  united by: divine love  Dante the Poet

16 STRUCTURENARRATIVE  3 spaces (hell, purgatory, heaven)  further subdivisions: circles (hell) terraces (purgatory) spheres (heaven)  united by: divine love  Dante the Poet  3 canticles ( Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso )  further subdivisions: cantos (33 per canticle) tercets terza rima  united by: journey  Dante the Pilgrim

17 Cosmos Inferno Purgatorio Paradiso CIRCLES TERRACES SPHERES

18 Purgatory Terraces: 7 “Capital Vices” purged Shoreline (Arrival) Entry: Dante receives 7 “P”s First valley (Waiting) LUST GLUTTONY GREED SLOTH WRATH ENVY PRIDE

19 Purgatory Neither Creator nor his creatures ever, my son, lacked love. There are, as you well know, two kinds: the natural love, the rational. Natural love may never be at fault; the other may: by choosing the wrong goal, by insufficient or excessive zeal. While it is fixed on the Eternal Good, and observes temperance loving worldly goods, it cannot be the cause of sinful joys; but when it turns toward evil or pursues some good with not enough or too much zeal— the creature turns on his Creator then. ( Purgatorio XVII ) LUST GLUTTONY GREED SLOTH WRATH ENVY PRIDE TOO MUCH NOT ENOUGH TURNED TOWARD EVIL

20 Inferno I.1-9 (Palma trans.) Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura ché la diritta via era smarrita. Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte che nel pensier rinova la paura! Tant'è amara che poco è più morte; ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai, dirò de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte. Midway through the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark wood, for I had strayed from the straight pathway to this tangled ground. How hard it is to tell of, overlaid with harsh and savage growth, so wild and raw the thought of it still makes me feel afraid. Death scarce could be more bitter. But to draw the lessons of the good that came my way, I will describe the other things I saw.

21 Inferno I.1-9 (Palma trans.) Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura ché la diritta via era smarrita. Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte che nel pensier rinova la paura! Tant'è amara che poco è più morte; ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai, dirò de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte. Midway through the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark wood, for I had strayed from the straight pathway to this tangled ground. How hard it is to tell of, overlaid with harsh and savage growth, so wild and raw the thought of it still makes me feel afraid. Death scarce could be more bitter. But to draw the lessons of the good that came my way, I will describe the other things I saw.

22 Florence Modern Italy Medieval Tuscany

23 Florence To me, however, the whole world is a homeland, like the sea to fish—though I drank from the Arno before cutting my teeth, and love Florence so much that, because I loved her, I suffer exile unjustly—and I will weight the balance of my judgement more with reason than with sentiment. ( De vulgari eloquentia I.vi) Was it not enough to correct you that, banished from the light for your first transgression, you should live in exile from the delights of your homeland (I.vii)

24 Florence Be joyful, Florence, since you are so great that your outstretched wings beat over land and sea, and your name is spread throughout the realm of Hell! I was ashamed to find among the thieves five of your most eminent citizens, a fact which does you very little honor But if early morning dreams have any truth, you will have the fate, in not too long a time, that Prato and the others crave for you. And were this the day, it would not be too soon! Would it had come to pass, since pass it must! The longer the delay, the more my grief. ( Inferno XXVI.1-12)

25 Letter to Can Grande “For the first sense is that which is contained in the letter, while there is another which is contained in what is signified by the letter. The first is called literal, while the second is called allegorical, or moral or anagogic. And in order to make this manner of treatment clear, it can be applied to the following verses: ‘When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a barbarous people, Judea was made his sanctuary, Israel his dominion’ [Psalm 114:1-2]. Now if we look at the letter alone, what is signified to us is the departure of the sons of Israel from Egypt during the time of Moses; if at the allegory, what is signified to us is our redemption through Christ [typology]; if at the moral sense, what is signified to us is the conversion of the soul from the sorrow and misery of sin to the state of grace; if at the anagogic, what is signified to us is the departure of the sanctified soul from bondage to the corruption of this world into the freedom of eternal glory.”

26 Exodus in Purgatorio William BlakeSalvadore Dali

27 Exodus in Purgatorio and the celestial pilot stood astern with blessedness inscribed upon his face, More than a hundred souls were in his ship: In exitu Israël de Aegypto, they all were singing with a single voice, chanting it verse by verse until the end. ( Purgatorio II.43-48) (Virgil and Dante on the shore at the foot of Mt. Purgatory)

28 Exodus in Purgatorio Two at the end were shouting “All of those for whom the Red Sea’s waters opened wide were dead before the Jordan saw their heirs; and those who found the task too difficult to keep on striving with Anchises’ son, give themselves up to an inglorious life.” ( Purgatorio XVIII ) (Souls on terrace of the slothful call out to Dante and Virgil)

29 Purgatorio XVI: Marco on free will

30 The spheres initiate your tendenceies: not all of them—but even if they did, you have the light that shows you right from wrong, and your Free Will, which, though it may grow faint in its first struggles with the heavens, can still surmount all obstacles if nurtured well. You are free subjects of a greater power, a nobler nature that creates your mind, and over this the spheres have no control. (73-81) Purgatorio XVI: Marco on free will

31 Purgatorio XVI: allegory On Rome, that brought the world to know the good, once shone two suns that lighted up two ways: the road of this world and the road of God. The one sun has put out the other’s light; the sword is now one with the crook—and fused together thus, must bring about misrule, since joined, now neither fears the other one. ( )

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33 THE END


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