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This article has been published in: Ocula 26, Matters of holiness: semiotic perspectives on Dante

author: Erminia Ardissino

The representation of holiness in the Comedy

language: italian

publication date: December 2022

abstract: Much has been written about the individual saints Dante mentions in his poem, but little has been published about the representation of holiness in Dante’s work in general. This essay addresses this critical lacuna, because holiness is one of the main purposes of Dante’s poetic journey through the afterworld, in an attempt to lead all the living to their heavenly happiness. Dante employs a rich variety of figures of speech, drawing from floral and courtly semantics, as well as the language of light, but his preferred linguistic source remains Sacred Scripture. Paying particular attention to rhetorical figures and lexical options employed by the poet for the representation of holiness, this essay discusses the poetic choices and the semantic fields involved, bringing them back to the scriptural, theological, and mystical traditions. Dante’s depiction of holiness also includes some blessed souls that were not canonized, but whom Dante, in accordance with contemporary criteria for ‘holiness’, calls 'saints' nevertheless.

keywords: dante, commedia, retorica

OCULA-26-ARDISSINO-La-rappresentazione-della-santit-nella-commedia.pdf ➞ PDF [461Kb]

DOI: 10.57576/ocula2022-9

citation information: Erminia Ardissino, La rappresentazione della santità nella Commedia, "Ocula", vol.23, n.26, December 2022. DOI: 10.57576/ocula2022-9


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