La retorica del nome e del numero: «Purgatorio» XI

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In the XI canto of the Purgatory pride and names, either spoken or unspoken, are indissolubly interwoven. The explicitly pronounced names acquire a new meaning on (pseudo)etymological bases; the ones which are not pronounced (Dante, Lucifer, Adam) are related so as to establish a tight connection between the characters. The relation between Dante and Lucifer is strucutured around the theme of the flight: like Lucifer, Dante, originally born to fly upwards, has turned downwards those wings (ali) which also appear in his surname, reinterpretable as aliger. Only after his meeting with Beatrice, he will become aware of his capability to fly upwards. As the whole XI canto set the false rise of the proud against their true fall, the well known acrostic of Purg. 25-63 interweaves 4 and 5 with their symbolic meanings, man as a brute beast and man as an angel respectively. It is not a coincidence, then, that the reticence on Dante’s name should be located in line 55: Dante, still burdened by his sins, has not yet returned to the condition into which he was born. His name, that cannot be spoken in Purg. XI, 55, will therefore be pronounced in line 55 of the XXX canto, after he has walked the whole purgatory mountain. In conclusion, the essay, on the bases on these and other elements, suggests that the character of Dante is related to number 5.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] The rhetoric of name and number: «Purgatory» XI
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)123-143
Numero di pagine21
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011


  • Alighieri Dante
  • Divina Commedia
  • Divina commedia
  • Purgatorio XI
  • Purgatory XI
  • onomastic
  • onomastica


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