ItalianoClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

L’aquila dantesca da signum a res

Baraldi, Francesca (2012) L’aquila dantesca da signum a res. PhD Thesis , Università degli studi di Ferrara.

PDF File

Download (1MB) | Preview


    The eagle comes to Dante with a very ancient symbolic polysemy: totemic, psychopompic, dominating, regenerating, gifted of sight and portentous alar abilities, she is the point of contact between the human and the preterhuman and moves between the elements of air and uranic fire guarding the insignias of different populations. The patristic and encyclopaedical beliefs that are offered to the poet want the eagle to be capable of fixing directly the sunlight and ready to repudiate the eaglets that cannot follow the example, gifted of a supreme and inscrutable flight from the high of which she can all the same detect any abyssal depth, able of renewing herself when oldness comes or disrupting the too grown beak that prevent her from eating or setting fire in the sun to the veil that bedims her eyes and the old quills that slow her down, for then dive three times in a fountain at East and revive in youth. The poet mentions her already in the Epistole, where the eagle is the incarnation of the Emperor Arrigo VII descending towards Italy, and takes with herself light and justice and hope; and in De vulgari eloquentia (II, IV 11) she represents the highest poetry, like in the fourth canto of the Inferno (If. IV, 96), in that Limbo where she flies above the other authors near to Homer. In the same first cantica of the Commedia the bird of prey carries out also her heraldic function, in Aguglia da Polenta (If. XXVII, 41), which compared to the others animal on the emblems of Romagna assumes a protective and not oppressive connotation. In Purgatorio the eagle appears to Dante at first in a dream, in the ninth canto (Pg. IX, 20), where she takes him from the valley of neglectful principles to the door of the mountain, and there she impersonates saint Lucy, but establishes also others mythological relations, especially with Jupiter, godhead to whom is always associated, and she inflame herself like the legend requires; the eagle comes back again in the tenth canto (Pg. X, 80), refigured like military ensign on the baseboard of the frame in the exemplum that portrays Emperor Trajan ready to leave with the army. In all these occasions she confronts with others animals, most of them derived from the aviary world, until in the Paradiso Terrestre she fuses with lion and ox and man in Tetramorph (Pg. XXIX, 92-95) and with the only lion in gryphon (Pg. XXIX, 106-114), enriching herself also with others’ characteristics. At last she concludes her stay in second cantica with a long sequence that sees her attacking and then corrupting the Church carriage (Pg. XXXII, 109-141), as a reminder of the difficult story of relations between the Papacy and Empire, and she greets the earthen world in a prophecy of political rebirth (Pg. XXXIII, 37-45). In Paradiso the eagle appears as first animal, representation of Beatrice fixing her eyes into the sun (Pd. I, 43-48), and takes Dante to emulate her and trasumanar (Pd. I, 70); she is afterward protagonist of the whole sixth canto, narrated from Giustiniano, soul that in life was active for the good, as embodiment of supreme power and right will of God she is achieved in every baiulo (Pd. VI, 73), retrieving also his quote in Monarchia (II, 5-6). In eighteenth canto the bird of prey is constituted of the lights of straight spirits (Pd. XVIII, 107), she assumes an exceptional and exclusive identity and until the twentieth canto she remains on the stage to explain to Dante the notion of divine justice, to insist on the restrictiveness of human comprehension and to introduce him the blessed that constitute his eye, always fringing of others zoological symbols like cranes, stork, falcon, lark. The last appearing of the eagle in the Commedia is accounted as aguglia di Cristo (Pd. XXVI, 53), figure of speech to designate saint John, the most argute among the evangelists to whom the Middle Age assigns the wording of Apocalypse as well, which requires to Dante, before letting him close to Lord, a deepened credo. At the end of this long journey the eagle swept in her belonging from Iupiter to God to Christ, she has increased hers potentialities, she blent with others animals, gathered a specific selfhood that maybe overbrims the initial intentions of the poet, becoming altogether symbol of light, love, justice, punishment, reward, faith, ascension, power. Born, as all the things according to saint Augustine, exactly as res, largely used in ancientness and by Dante as signum, at the end of her walk in the Commedia the eagle becomes a new res, different from the one at the beginning, arose from all the valences and characteristics that the poet ascribed to her and path for the achievement of the two happinesses, one earthly and one supernatural, to which all dantean operas aspire.

    Item Type:Thesis (PhD Thesis)
    Date:28 March 2012
    Tutor:Vecchio, Silvana
    Coordinator:Andrisano, Angela
    Institution:Università degli studi di Ferrara
    Divisions:Dipartimento > Scienze storiche
    Subjects:Area 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche > M-FIL/08 Storia della filosofia medievale
    Uncontrolled Keywords:Dante, aquila, simbolo
    Deposited on:21 Feb 2013 14:43


    View ItemView Item