Virgil the Blind Guide: Marking the Way Through the Divine Comedy

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, Feb 8, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 247 pages
Virgil the Blind Guide examines the repetition of certain linguistic configurations that have remained hidden because the meanings of the words involved do not relate to Virgil’s competence as guide. Uncovering tropes that have yet to be studied, Howard allows us to see new junctures in the poet’s travels, while highlighting Virgil’s impotence and diminishing his authority as regards other poets, guides, and the demons of Hell’s lower gate. The concealed route revealed by Dante’s figurative signposts establishes Virgil’s traits as foundational to the poem and allows for new perspectives and understandings of this critical character. Using this distinctive strategy, Virgil the Blind Guide helps us to piece together the complex puzzle that is Dante’s pagan guide and suggests new ways of understanding important characters that are applicable to a broad range of poetry and prose.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
1 Virgils Taming of Plutus and Capaneus and the Pilgrims Changing Perceptions
22
2 The Blindness of Virgil in Inferno 89 Purgatorio 1516 and Purgatorio 2223
40
3 Encounters with the Heavenly Beings in Hell and Purgatory
70
4 The Eclipse of Virgil and the Ascent of Mary after her Son
113
5 Virgil John the Baptist and the Downward Journey di giro in giro
160
Conclusion
184
Notes
187
Bibliography
231
Index
241
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About the author (2010)

Lloyd H. Howard is professor of Italian in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of Victoria.

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