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Paradiso Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Paradiso.
This section contains 807 words
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Human Longing and Self-Delusion

The two central themes of "Paradiso," human longing and self-delusion, are closely interwoven, and both examine human understanding of what is real and what is not. Perhaps the dividing line is simply between their general parameters: one theme has more to do with the individual and illusion, and the other more to do with humankind as a whole and illusion. The speaker in the poem is portrayed as a pathetic person, especially in the beginning when he is seen at a very vulnerable moment of elation that turns out to be in vain. He is like a scolded puppy that suddenly becomes excited and overjoyed when it appears his master is no longer angry with him. But the speaker is mastered by something more intangible and enigmatic, a concept difficult for him to grasp: his own self-deluded mind. From the outset, there is no doubt...

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This section contains 807 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Paradiso Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Paradiso from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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