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Title: Metaphor in Dante's Paradiso : an analysis of the techniques by which traditional and dead metaphor are renewed
Author: Gibbons, D.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1997
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This dissertation provides an account of the way in which Dante uses metaphor in the Paradiso, offering a detailed analysis of the main techniques by which the poet gives new expression to metaphors repeatedly employed in different traditions of Christian writing. The first two chapters approach the subject theoretically. Chapter 1 focuses on certain aspects of the definitions of metaphor found in classical and medieval handbooks of rhetoric, acknowledging the problems these definitions raise whilst maintaining their usefulness for the study of an author influenced by rhetorical teaching. Chapter 2 deals with questions arising from the role of metaphor in religious language, and discusses recent approaches to the Paradiso, arguing that although the metaphors Dante selects are traditional with regard to the semantic fields from which they are drawn, his expression of them can still be described as highly original. The following three chapters constitute the main body of the thesis, each dealing with one of the principal techniques by which Dante renews traditional and dead metaphor in the Paradiso. Chapter 3 shows how the poet selects less predictable words from the same semantic field in order to make a basic comparison of ideas more dramatic. In chapter 4 the 'grammar' of Dante's metaphors is discussed, in particular his use of verb metaphors; he extends metaphors by creating new verbs, which repeat and develop the nouns from which they were coined. Chapter 5 is concerned with the crucial role of rhyme in determining the choice and expression of Dante's metaphors: going beyond the example offered by the troubadour Arnaut Daniel, Dante's use of rhyme is shown to transform the metaphors first of his lyric poems, and then of the Paradiso.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available