Divine Comedy Character Descriptions

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Beatrice summons Virgil from Limbo {Inferno 2) to lead Dante the Pilgrim through Hell, up the Mount of Purgatory to the Garden of Eden. She sits with the blessed in the heavenly rose, where she waits to replace Virgil as the Pilgrim's guide (Purgatory 30). Beatrice, bringer of blessedness, is therefore largely responsible for the Pilgrim's (and the poet's) salvation. The historical Beatrice Portinari (1266-90) was the daughter of Folco Portinari, a wealthy Florentine, and the wife of Simone dei Bardi.In his Vita Nuova (NewLife), Dante claims to have met and fallen in love with her when they were about nine years old. The Vita Nuova consists of love poems Dante wrote to Beatrice, which he connected with prose commentaries. The physical love he had for her, which is the subject of the Vita Nuova, was transformed into the spiritual love that enabled his salvation, which is the...

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