illustration of a human covered in a starry sky walking from the sky and plains toward a fiery opening to hell

The Divine Comedy

by Dante Alighieri

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What type of love does Dante have for Beatrice at the end of The Divine Comedy?

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I sense that Dante shares a love with Beatrice by the end of the narrative as one that transcends that of mortal or courtly love.  As she becomes his guide through the Paradiso phase of Dante's Comedia, it is evident that she is more than a symbol of earthly love.  Dante imbues in Beatrice a divine quality.  She becomes the representation of salvation and the savior, replacing Virgil as Dante's guide.  Her placement in the garden of Eden is representative of this divine presence.  Dante himself defines her as the fusing of opposites in the Paradiso.  She is the one who brings together all opposites.  Throughout Dante's work, there has been a strict division between those who sin and those who sin worse.  The delineation to different realms of Hell is something that creates opposition and division.  Yet, Beatrice is depicted as a force where there is little division and binary opposition.  She is a unifying principle that brings opposites together.  This is a love that is divine, transcendent in its very nature.  She is more than a notion of mortal love, for by the end of the work, she has become something transcendent and apotheosized as a force of divinity.

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