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Analysis

Paradiso Allusions & Cultural References

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • Timaeus (Par. IV, 49)
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas (Par. X, 99 and throughout Cantos X – XIII)
  • Saint Francis (Par. XI, 49-117)
  • Saint Dominic (Par. XII, 52-105)
  • Saint Peter Damian (Par. XXI, 121)
  • Saint Bernard (Par. XXXI, 101) – throughout cantos XXXI-XXXIII
  • Virgil, Aeneid (Par. VIII, 8-9), (Par. IX, 97-98), (Par. XV, 25-27)

Biblical References:

  • Nebuchadnezzar (Par. IV, 14)
  • Rahab (Par. IX, 115)
  • Solomon (Par. XIII, 91-102, and throughout Cantos XIII and XIV)
  • Jesus Christ (Par. XXIII, 20, and throughout)
  • The Virgin Mary (Par. XXIII, 111, and throughout)
  • Saint Peter (Par. XXIV, 34-36, and throughout)
  • Saint James (Par. XXV, 18, and throughout Cantos XXV-XXVI)
  • Saint John (Par. XXV, 112-114, and throughout)
  • Adam (Par. XXVI, 83, and throughout)
  • Daniel (Par. XXIX, 132)

Historical Figures

  • Beatrice Portinari (Par. I, 46, and throughout)
  • Justinian (Par. VI, 10, and through Canto VI)
  • Sanctus hymn: (Par. VII, 1-3)
  • Charles Martel (Par. VIII, 49-51)
  • Cacciaguida (Par. XV, 135, and throughout Cantos XV-XVIII)
  • Emperor Trajan (Par. XX, 44-48, and throughout Canto XX)
  • Ripheus (Par. XX, 69-72, and throughout Canto XX)
  • Henry VIII of Luxembourg (Par. XXX, 136)

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