Bernhard Huss

Petrarch’s Triumphus Mortis as a reply to Dante’s Earthly Paradise

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This essay interprets the Trionfi by Francesco Petrarca as a “réécritureµ of Dante’s Commedia. This is particularly true of the relationship between the protagonist of the text and his beloved Laura (from the third Triumphus Cupidinis to the second Triumphus Mortis). Petrarch’s portrayal of his lover’s relationship with Laura and the dreamlike encounter with Laura is modeled after‚ Dante’s’ encounter with Beatrice in the Earthly Paradise, transforming this encounter in the horizon of Petrarch’s self-fashioning and his love poetry. Petrarch’s specific design of a problematic authorial subjectivity contrasts with Dante’s metaphysical confidence. The final signal of this contrast is the replacement of the knowledge of God (at the end of Dante’s Paradiso) by the vision of the resurrected Laura (at the end of the Triumphus Eternitatis).

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