What is Dante's ideas of love? Thank You.

3 Answers | Add Yours

renelane's profile pic

renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Dante's idea of love is that of courtly love. It is not a physically passionate relationship-more of an unrequited adoration that does not usually get consummated. Courtly love was rarely between husbands and wives. The male was inspired to do great things to win her affection. Beatrice was the object of Dante's desire. Beatrice was married to someone else-as was he-yet he expressed his love in poetry. He claimed their relationship was never consummated.

In the Divine Comedy, Beatrice is portrayed as his guide through heaven and in the Inferno, she is the one who pleads with Virgil to save Dante.

renelane's profile pic

renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Dante's idea of love is that of courtly love. It is not a physically passionate relationship-more of an unrequited adoration that does not usually get consummated. Courtly love was rarely between husbands and wives. The male was inspired to do great things to win her affection. Beatrice was the object of Dante's desire. Beatrice was married to someone else-as was he-yet he expressed his love in poetry. He claimed their relationship was never consummated.

In the Divine Comedy, Beatrice is portrayed as his guide through heaven and in the Inferno, she is the one who pleads with Virgil to save Dante.

gafontanez's profile pic

gafontanez | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In Dante's pseudo-biographical work La Vita Nuova, there is a moment where a girl asks him what his true intentions were towards Beatrice. The insinuation is that Beatrice's girlfriends know what men want and are intrigued at the thought that Dante may be planning an affair with Beatrice, who was engaged to another man. In his youth Dante was known to get around and he suffered due to this reputation, more out of guilt than anything.

So do we believe that Dante's concept of love was simply courtly love? I certainly don't. I offer as evidence the poems he wrote during his exile concerning a common maid who drove him crazy because he desired her but she would be so cold with him. In the poems he even refers to her as a "bitch"! To drive our beloved poet to curse she must've been quite the seductress in bed, yet he was disgusted with how she played him.

It is my delight in this side of Dante, who speaks directly in his vernacular, that inspired me to explore the same issue of Love and Sex in my book _White Man's Inferno_, since Love (or rather the severe lack thereof) is what we're all preoccupied with.

We’ve answered 318,983 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question