Beatrice in Dante's Divine Comedy Essay

Beatrice in Dante's Divine Comedy Essay

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Beatrice in Dante's Divine Comedy

    How many people spend their whole life in love with a person they met only once

when they were nine years old? Dante Alighieri, born in 1265, had only one

meeting with Beatrice Portinari in 1274, making him only nine years old. By

Dante's own account this was the most important event of his youth (Alighieri).

When she passed away in 1290 Dante was about 25 and overcome with grief (Barbi

6). If Dante hadn't met Beatrice much of his work would have never been written.

When he met the Florentine gentlewoman, she made a deep impression on his

feelings. In the Inferno Beatrice symbolizes blessedness or salvation, and Dante

always called her by her full name to indicate that she brought happiness to

whoever looked upon her. All evidence shows she was the daughter of Folco

Portinari, and later, the wife of Simone die Bardi. Dante expressed his love for

her in his poetry and believed she was "the guide of his thoughts and emotions

toward that ideal perfection which is the goal of every noble mind" (Barbi 6).

Other poets of the time wrote about the cruelty of women and demanded pity.


Dante exalted or glorified Beatrice as a miracle of courtesy and virtue sent to

earth by God for the welfare of himself, and for those who would appreciate her

qualities. Because of such exultation Dante believed that Beatrice would not

stay long in the earthly life, and in June 1290 she died. This caused intense

contemplation of her in the glory of heaven (Barbi 6). Dante was married shortly

after the first anniversary of Beatrice's death. However, her memory came back

and he felt horrible f...

... middle of paper ...



Dante Alighieri met the love of his life when he was only nine years old, but

never stopped loving her. She passed away when he was about 25 and Dante was

never the same. After 16 years his love for her never faded, even though both

had married. Even right before his death Dante still wrote about Beatrice and

held her in the highest regard. Beatrice inspired his work and gave it meaning.

Works Cited

Alighieri, Dante. "The Inferno." The Norton Anthology World Masterpieces
Expanded Edition vol. 1. Ed. Maynard Mack. W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 1995. 1693-1828.

Alighieri, Dante. Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Microsoft

Barbi, Michele. Life of Dante. London: Cambridge University. 1954.

"Knights, Ladies and Constant Heartache." Discovery Online. 3/14/


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