The Role Of Women In Dante's Divine Comedy

1730 Words7 Pages
Throughout his “Divine Comedy,” Dante Alighieri encounters with two women, who are antithetical to one another in terms of their roles in the context of love. These two women; Francesca di Rimini and Beatrice, have similar emotional experiences since both have relationships outside marriage; yet, they have different roles when Dante explores the notion of love. The reader meets the first woman, Francesca, in Inferno, while meets the second, Beatrice, in Paradiso. In other words, one of them is being punished, whereas the other woman holds divine position. Thus, the female characters within the poem represents two distinct roles of women: either as a pure and holy being, or as a sinful entity. Dante emphasizes the differing roles of these women by three mediators. First, he gives Francesca the freedom to defend herself, letting her to have a partial guidance/autonomy; in contrast, Dante delivers his own freedom in the hands of Beatrice, allowing her to have a complete guidance/complete control over the poem. Second, Dante focuses on the physical aspects of love when talking about Francesca’s love story, while he talks about a selfless, spiritual love when referring to his and Beatrice’s love story. Third, Francesca does not take the responsibility of her actions, has a lack of remorse and blames the power of love for her fate, while Dante and Beatrice respect the rules and morals, by only coming together in the afterlife. In other words, they have opposite interpretations of
Open Document