Dante imagines the dangers of romance

Dante imagines the dangers of romance

Dante Alighieri

c.1350–1375

northern Italy

Manuscript

This page shows a passage from Canto V of Dante’s Inferno, from his great fourteenth-century poem La Divina Comedia (The Divine Comedy). Dante and his guide, the Roman poet Virgil, see the drifting souls of those enslaved by desire in the second circle of Hell. They include Francesca di Rimini, whose doomed affair with her husband’s brother Paolo has condemned them to drift in the second circle of hell, along with Tristan, Dido, Helen, Paris, Achilles and others. In the text above this illustration Francesca relates how reading about the love affair of Lancelot and Guinevere provoked her and Paolo to become lovers.

Supporting Media

An introduction to Dante's Divine Comedy by Prof Martin McLaughlin, Agnelli-Serena Professor of Italian Studies, University of Oxford.

Comments

A Tristan tile from Chertsey Abbey
A Tristan tile from Chertsey Abbey
A lover's gift
A lover's gift
Tristan's madness
Tristan's madness
Tristan the musician
Tristan the musician
Two meaningful rings
Two meaningful rings
Dante imagines the dangers of romance
Dante imagines the dangers of romance