«Beltate» and «amore» in the Vita nova: the principles of Dante’s poetic theology. - A critical analysis of theoretical issues in the text of Vita nova – the young Dante’s first major work and the greatest expression of the genre of courtly love – demonstrates a very impressive utilisation of theologically oriented terminology and themes, coming from scriptural allusions and the exegetical patterns of the early mediaeval monastic literature (especially from the twelfth century). Such a new perspective suggests the possibility of appreciating the «libello» as a witness to a systematic speculative framework, and the author as a bearer of an already defined anthropological and theological vision, which will find its definitive realisation in his subsequent works, from the Convivio to the Commedia. In particular, the analysis of the idea of gentilezza — the disposition of the loving soul to find in the beloved’s beauty (bellezza) the evidence of her virtues — reveals the ultimate goal of the poet’s theoretical-ethical mission: he employs theological poetry as a valuable instrument, useful for showing mankind the way to the happiness that is only realizable through complete service to the truthful Principle of Love (amore).
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