Note on Italian Sonnets (From my Research)


Note on Guido Guinzzelli sonnet/Dante Vita Nuova: Nature as allegory for love and for its the effect on the senses. the “noble heart” is a thing of man but nature supplies the love that fills and fulfills it in a spiritual and expressionistic sense. “Nature did not make” either before the other to justify the creation of the latter; they are in fact complementary and a unified whole when brought together in the perfect circumstances of romantic and/or courtly love. Dante uses people, women, as an allegory for the perfect and the pure, in love, in philosophy, in reason. The women are not stand ins for these concepts so much as they are these concepts, the breath them and add to their glory and perfection through their all too real impression on the love-struck heart. Love is for “the noble heart” not because love is noble in and of itself but because the unity of love and the heart of a man stricken by a woman of true beauty is the truest and most perfect form of nobility, a nobility echoed in the perfection of nature and the god that created nature for man and around man as an expressed complementary and unitary vision. “Love takes its place in the noble heart/as its rightful dwelling.”–Guinzzelli, Al Cor Gentil. It is the fate of man to love and love ennobles the heart which is naturally open and waiting to receive its graces. It is simple rhetorical and creative step from this naturalism to allegorical understandings of principles and ideas reflected and made more pure by the charms and love of a woman.


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