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Analysis

Literary Devices in Paradiso

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Like the circles in Hell or the terraces in Purgatory, the stars in Heaven reflect the nature of their inhabitants. For example, the moon is mottled with moon spots, creating an uneven surface. Lik...

Setting

Technically, there is no setting for Paradiso because, in Dante's conception, God's realm is utterly free from time and space. That is the paradox of the poem; Dante is trying to describe in tempor...

Narrator Point of View

Dante says "I" a lot, which gives us a clue. And we frequently see the inner workings of his thoughts. But this first person POV (point of view) goes through a twist in Paradiso that does not exist...

Genre

Paradiso, like Inferno and Purgatorio, is an epic poem. We know it's epic because we're talking about larger-than-life topics, like how the universe is organized, what is the best use for art, and...

Tone

Our subject matter is Heaven, God, and man's salvation. Dante's views on these things are very clear. He wants them; he loves them; he wants to know everything about them.So let's start with "passi...

Writing Style

In addition to Dante's difficult 14th century Florentine dialect (which you miss altogether in translation), his text is written in meter. In other words, it's poetry – complete with a comple...

What's Up With the Title?

Paradiso is the Italian word for "Heaven." It also happens to be the setting for the book. Now the origins of the English Italian word "paradise" are interesting. The English word comes from the Ol...

What's Up With the Ending?

What's up with the strange image that closes Paradiso, the three different-colored circles? And the painted man in the second circle that Dante doesn't understand? As Dante has already told us, thi...

Plot Analysis

Dante has been loosing his way. He needs to tour Hell so he can get back on the righteous path. (Inferno in its entirety)Dante needs help in a bad way because he is lost in a dark wood, symbolizing...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: The Quest

Lost in a dark wood… (Inferno Cantos I-II)Dante is at a major crossroads in his life. He is lost in a dark wood, allegory for deeply sunk into sin, and desperately in need of help. The three...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Dante's loss of the true way to God is remedied by Virgil's appearance and their resulting journey through Hell together. Along the way, Dante learns to harden his heart against the suffering of th...

Trivia

Dante rhymes "Christ" only with itself. (Source: Footnotes. The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Paradiso. Bantam Classics, Translator Allen Mandelbaum, 1984.)Dante ends each of his three cantiche...

Steaminess Rating

We couldn't find any references to sex. The closest we got were the rays of "frenzied love" that supposedly gave Venus its name. This lack of sexual references suits the subject matter of the poem....

Allusions

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 Ber...
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