05Inf5to7W11 - What does sin look like? Francesca da...

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What does sin look like? Francesca da Rimini: modern woman or medieval example? 1
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The kiss. Amsterdam, Biblioteca Philosophica Hermetica MS 1, ii, f. 140 2
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What does Francesca mean? • Is Francesca lying? ( la bocca mi basciò, v. 136) • Why did they stop reading? (quel giorno più, v. 138) • Why was the book a Gallehault? (v. 137) • Is she triumphant? ( questi, che mai da me non fa diviso, v. 135) • With whom or what did she fall in love? (100-104) • With whom or what is she united for eternity? 3
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Francesca, historical personage • “Lord Malatesta lived one hundred years and more; to him succeeded Malatestino and Pandolfo. Paolo ( Paulus ) was killed by his brother Giovanni the Lame ( Iohannem Zottum ), on account of lust ( causa luxurie ). Chronicle of Marco Battagli (1352), probably contaminated by the Inferno . 4
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(the only) Documentary evidence of Francesca “regarding the dowry of the late lady Francesca, wife of the late aforementioned John his son and mother of the aforementioned lady Concordia, that they have received from him” Malatesta’s will (1311). He died in 1312 at the age of 100. 5
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But, what was the “real” story? “You must know that she was the daughter of Guido da Polenta the elder, lord of Ravenna and Cerva. A long harsh war had raged between him and the Malatesta, lords of Rimini, when through certain intermediaries, peace was treated and concluded. To make it all the more Frm, both sides were pleased to cement it with a marriage. Whereupon it was arranged that Messer Guido was to give his beautiful young daughter, called Madonna ±rancesca, in marriage to Gianciotto, son of Messer Malatesta.” (Giovanni Boccaccio, Esposizioni sopra la Comedia ) Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) was the author of many Fctional works, of which the most famous are the hundred stories of the Decameron . 6
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According to Boccaccio… • Gianciotto was a very capable man, and everyone expected that he would become ruler when his father died. For this reason, though he was ugly and deformed, Messer Guido wanted him rather than one of his brothers as a son-in-law. […] So
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05Inf5to7W11 - What does sin look like? Francesca da...

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