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The expressions of illicit passion: literary disguise of desire (Inferno, V and La Celestina)

Ines Ravasini


Francesca's speech on love and her account of her adulterous passion in the 5th Canto of the Inferno, which are full of intertextual allusions to the tradition of lyric love poetry and to episodes of courtly romance, provide a starting point for an analysis of the way in which, in La Celestina, Melibea  expresses her own desire and illicit passion. Leaving aside the parodic aspect, in the use Melibea makes of the topoi of the literary tradition there is a complex form of imitation of the courtly code and at the same time a distancing from it. While in the Divine Comedy the episode with Francesca shows us Dante distancing himself from a certain literary tradition and adopting a new form of poetry of which the work itself is an example, in La Celestina the ambiguity of the language of love is one of the signs of the breakdown of the traditional codes and of the way they are reworked.

Parole chiave

Commedia; La Celestina; Courtly love; Desire


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