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Title: Truth-telling in Dante's Commedia : prophecy, vision and memory
Author: Simmons , Tamzin Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 5921 0686
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the notion of 'truth-telling' in the work of Dante, understood jointly as a process of building narrative credibility and the communication of moral and/or spiritual 'truths'. The notion will be explored in relation to the themes of prophecy, vision, and memory, particularly in COlnll1edia. While these aspects of the poem have, individually, generated much scholarship, there has not been a sustained treatment of them taken together, in their relationship to Dante's 'truth-telling'. However, they appear closely linked both in Dante's work and in the broader medieval context, which means that they can fruitfully be considered together. Analysing the Commed;a in relation to Dante's other writings, in particular, the Epistles, the Vita Nova, and the Convivio, this thesis highlights the interconnectedness of truth-telling with prophecy, vision, and memory in Dante's thought. The thesis begins by addressing the question of what constitutes truth-telling in the Commedia, including examining Dante's use of, and views on allegory, in order to envisage what truth-value Dante might have intended the reader to assign to the poem. In subsequent chapters, through a close reading of selected episodes, the ways in which prophecy, vision, and memory, respectively, are used in the service of Dante's 'truth-telling', are analysed. As well as increasing the credibility of Dante's narrative, by presenting the pilgrim's journey as a 'real' experience, the themes of prophecy, vision, and memory are also used as a pretext for Dante to communicate moral and spiritual 'truths' from his own perspective. Thus, in bringing these themes together and analysing their place in the Commedia in the context of their role in Dante's truth-telling, this thesis makes an original contribution to scholarly debate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available