Dante in Translation

Yale,, Fall 2008 , Prof. Giuseppe Mazzotta

Updated On 02 Feb, 19


(ITAL 310) The course is an introduction to Dante and his cultural milieu through a critical reading of The Divine Comedy and selected minor works (Vita nuova, Convivio, De vulgari eloquentia, Epistle to Cangrande). An analysis of Dante's autobiography, the Vita nuova, establishes the poetic and political circumstances of the Comedy's composition. Readings of Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso seek to situate Dante's work within the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages, with special attention paid to political, philosophical and theological concerns. Topics in The Divine Comedy explored over the course of the semester include the relationship between ethics and aesthetics; love and knowledge; and exile and history.


Lecture 17: Paradise IV, VI, X

4.1 ( 11 )

Lecture Details

Dante in Translation (ITAL 310)

This lecture deals with Paradise IV, VI and X. At the beginning of Paradise IV, the pilgrim raises two questions to which the remainder of the canto is devoted. The first concerns Piccarda (Paradise III) who was constrained to break her religious vows. The second concerns the arrangement of the souls within the stars. The common thread that emerges from Beatrices reply is the relationship between intellect and will. Just as Piccardas fate reveals the limitations of the will, the representation of the souls in Paradise, a condescension to the pilgrims human faculty, as Beatrice explains, reveal the limitations of the intellect. By dramatizing the limitations of both faculties, Dante underscores their interdependence. In Paradise VI, Dante turns his attention to politics. Through the emperor Justinians account of Roman history, Dante places the antithetical views of Virgil and Augustine in conversation. Key to understanding Dantes position between these two extremes is the vituperation of contemporary civil strife that follows Justinians encomium of the Empire. In Paradise X, the pilgrim enters the Heaven of the Sun, where St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure introduce him to two rings of spirits celebrated for their wisdom. The unlikely presence of Solomon and Siger of Brabant among the first of these concentric rings is discussed as a poetic reflection on the boundaries between knowledge and revelation.

0000 - Chapter 1. Canto IV of "Paradise" The Nature of the Will and Representation of the Souls
0931 - Chapter 2. The Need for Allegorical Representation
1901 - Chapter 3. Canto VI The Heaven of Dialectics; Emperor Justinian
4139 - Chapter 4. Canto X Solar Theology
4936 - Chapter 5. St. Thomas and Others in Canto X
5602 - Chapter 6. Metaphors in Canto X
010249 - Chapter 7. Themes in Cantos IV, VI and X
010927 - Chapter 8. Question and Answer

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website httpopen.yale.educourses

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.



4 Ratings
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Excellent course helped me understand topic that i couldn't while attendinfg my college.

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Great course. Thank you very much.