My lady is when her smile bestows, All sound of speaking falters to a close And eyes which would behold her do not dareOf praises sung of her she is aware,Yet clad in sweet humility she goesA miracle in which the world may share. Dante AlighieriSonet XXVI Lavita NuevaAt age nine, Dante was graced by the beauty of Beatrice Portinari, and for the rest of his life, many of his writings portrayed his intense love for merely the thought of her which seemed to haunt him. Although his relationship with her was only from afar, within his mind, Beatrice captivated him as he believed she was a miracle sent from heaven. Women have been portrayed in every way throughout time. More often, women have portrayed as a model of Eve, the misguided seductress of Adam in the Bible.
The lure of a woman is ambiguous, a mystery of the sensual persona that has captivated many medieval writers. Dante does not portray women as the weakness of all man, instead in his Comedia, Beatrice is the divine beauty and guide of his journey into heaven. Undoubtedly, Beatrice captivated Dante enough for him to dedicate his Comedia to, and through his vivid imagination, he recreates her as a heavenly spirit who protects his ultimate fate as she is the most influencial character. Dante wrote La Comedia in the age of religious devotion and fear of sin, which signifies La Comedia as an ultimate portrayal of medieval thought.
A sure anxiety of the afterlife was cultivated by the rise of Christianity. What is the ultimate sin? How does one repent sin? What is the journey of the afterlife? Endless questions surely haunted the medieval mind, and Dante was surely fascinated by the possibilities. Within his curiosities was beatrice, who enchanted Dante and possibly encouraged his medieval mind, and Dante was surely fascinated by the possibilities. Within his curiosities was Beatrice, who enchanted Dante and possibly encouraged his writing of La Comedia after her death.
My Soul- Such years had passed since last it sawthat lady and stood trembling in her presence,stupefied by the power of holy awe-now, by some power that shone from her abovethe reach and witness of my mortal eyes,felt the full mastery of enduring love. Dante AlighieriLa ComediaCanto XXX PurgatorioThis is Dante’s first sight of Beatrice in La Comedia. He has not seen her in ten years since her death, but at this first sight, he immediately feels his deep love for her. He dresses her in the colors of hope, faith and caritas, three divine qualities that he saw in her earthly presence and also here, on his way to Paradiso. Beatrice as a woman was Dante’s inspiration, and even after her death, he portrays her as his most divine persona of perfection. In the medieval Christian mind, all divine beings (such as Beatrice) could read into the true soul of a mortal man.
It is difficult to analyze Dante’s motivation to write La Comedia, but his portrayal of Beatrice may have been a personal prayer to her. If Dante revealed his enchantment of her soul, his belief that she was a miracle sent from God, and his absolute love that consumed his every thought, possibly she would allow him into her heart when he died and made his own journey into heaven. Oh lady in whom my hope shall ever soarand who my salvation suffered evento set your feet upon Hell’s broken floorThrough your power and your excellence alonehave I recognized the goodness and the graceinherent in the things I have been shown. Dante AligheriLa ComediaCanto XXXI ParadisoThroughout his life, Dante’s most profound writings have been inspired by his utmost love for Beatrice. Dante graciously thanks Beatrice for his understanding of the divine virtues in his Comedia.
Throughout his life, Dante had been inspired by the mere presence of her beauty and grace on earth, and as he portrayed her angelic persona in La Comedia. La Vita Nueva was a poetry book devoted solely to her, as La Comedia was his ultimate vision and appreciation of her spirit within him.Nicole Felice Olson