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 19: Paradise XV, XVI, XVII

4.1 ( 11 )

Lecture Details

Dante in Translation (ITAL 310)

This lecture focuses on the cantos of Cacciaguida (Paradise XV-XVII). The pilgrims encounter with his great-great grandfather brings to the fore the relationship between history, self and exile. Through his ancestors mythology of their native Florence, Dante is shown to move from one historiographic mode to another, from the grandeur of epic to the localism of medieval chronicles. Underlying both is the understanding of history in terms of genealogy reinforced and reproved by Dantes mythic references to fathers and sons, from Aeneas and Anchises to Phaeton and Apollo to Hippolytus and Theseus. The classical and medieval idea of the selfs relation to history in terms of the spatial continuity these genealogies provide is unsettled by Cacciaguidas prophecy of Dantes exile. The very premise of the poems composition, exile is redeemed as an alternative means of reentering the world of history.

0000 - Chapter 1. Canto XV, XVI and XVII Self and History
0739 - Chapter 2. Mythic Figures and the Exilic Self
2514 - Chapter 3. Different Mode of Historiography
3708 - Chapter 4. Language
5758 - Chapter 5. Question and Answer

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

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.



6 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.