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Dante and Governance$
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John Woodhouse

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198159117

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159117.001.0001

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Dante's Farewell to Politics

Dante's Farewell to Politics

(p.152) 10 Dante's Farewell to Politics
Dante and Governance

Peter Hainsworth

Oxford University Press

The disunity brought about by the actions of Boniface and his peers is still evident in the final lines of Paradiso XXX, where Beatrice points out to Dante the seat reserved in the heavenly Rose for Emperor Henry VII, and makes brief but bitter allusions to the Emperor's failure in Italy and to the fate reserved for his enemies. The words of Beatrice usher in a dramatic passage which contrasts with the lyrical tone of the canto as a whole; it is also the last passage on political themes in the Commedia, and is usually seen in a more or less biographical light as the expression of Dante's final political disillusionment in the wake of Henry of Luxembourg's failure. The canto marks the culmination and termination of his investigation of the problem of evil in relation to this world and the divine order, in short Dante's farewell to politics.

Keywords:   Paradise XXX, Boniface, Emperor Henry VII, Beatrice, Dante, Commedia, Dante's politics

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