Women In Dante's Divine Comedy

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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 Francesca in Inferno, while meets Beatrice in Paradiso. In other words, one of them is being punished, whereas the other woman is placed at a divine level. 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,…show more content…
She talks about Paolo as “the lovely person that was taken” from her (Inf. 5. 101). Furthermore, Francesca and Paolo kissed when they read “that the yearned-for smile was kissed by so great a lover” (Inf. 5. 133-36). So, the romantic and tragic story of Lancelot inspired them to kiss, not Francesca’s selfless love for Paolo. In other words, the lovers were caught over the romance of the story. In contrast, Dante introduces Beatrice by saying “within a cloud of flowers … the angels was rising and falling back … a lady appeared to me…” (Inf. 33. 28-32). He depicts Beatrice as an angelic figure in Paradiso. Moreover, he also states “the loveliness that I say not only surpassed our human measure… and only the Maker can enjoy it fully” (). This shows that Dante places Beatrice’s beauty beyond the level of human nature and supports this by saying it can only by enjoyed by the “Maker,” which is the God. Thus, Francesca and Paolo’s love is purely shallow; while Dante and Beatrice’s love is the quite opposite; it is a divine love, in which Dante concentrates on the emotional and spiritual aspects of
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