Dante Alighieri and The Divine Commedy

Dante Alighieri and The Divine Commedy - Dante Alighieri...

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Dante Alighieri and The Divine Comedy Carola Kury Umpierre Prof. Steffano Gardi History of Italian Literature May 6 th , 2009
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Dante Alighieri and The Divine Comedy Born in Florence Italy in 1265 to Alighieri II, Dante Alighieri was introduced to life as an impoverished nobleman, being raised by his father, as his mother died when he was an infant. Dante was born around the time when the Imperial Power of Italy was broken by the victory of the church and Guelf Party defeating their opponents, the Ghibellines. The conflict however, would return during Dante's life, and also prove to be very significant. (Cosmo, 133-40) When he was twelve years old, Dante's father, and the parents of Gemma Donati arranged for the two preteens to be married in the future. Along with Gemma's hand in marriage, the Alighieris would also be receiving a dowry, which was most probably a sum of money seeing that the Donati family was wealthy. Unfortunately, Gemma would not be Dante's first love. That title would belong to a young woman known as Beatrice. For some reason, at the age of nine, Dante had fallen madly in love with Beatrice, who was eight years old. His unspoken love for her would last for fifteen years, as she would get married to another man and eventually die in 1690. Her legacy would live on in the works of Dante, for she was the focus of La vita nuova. That was his first book, which clearly illustrated his love for Beatrice in a poetic fashion. She was also later brought back in La Divina Commedia as an important figure in heaven. While his father was striving to make ends meet through the land and the cattle, Dante attended grammar school that was run by Franciscan Friars who were influenced by enlightened fervor and dislike for church politics (John, 118-19). Proceeding grammar school, Dante decided to study rhetoric under Brunetto Latino. Brunnetto was a philosopher as well as a poet, who was later granted mortality in "The Inferno," which he was sent to for committing sodomy. He also continued to teach himself in "The art of discoursing with rhyme (John, 118-19)." As Dante began to write his stories, he attracted the attention of famous poet, Guido Cavalcanti. The two
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of them became friends as Dante grew older, and they studied the relations between love and endeavor. In 1285, Dante studied at the University of Bologna, until his education was interrupted when he served in the Guelf Army in the Battle of Campaldino (John, 118-19). In 1291, as planned out years before, Dante and Gemma were married and had three children; two sons and one daughter. Soon after his marriage, Dante became interested in Florentine Politics. By 1295, he had held several local positions in office. He was even elected to be one of the Chief Magistrates of Florence, but he only stayed in the position for 2 months. Dante was in office during a time when the political unity in Florence was becoming
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2010 for the course LITERATURA ? taught by Professor Naddi? during the Spring '09 term at Università degli Studi di Firenze.

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Dante Alighieri and The Divine Commedy - Dante Alighieri...

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