Metafore e linguaggio figurato nel Medioevo e nell’opera di Dante
This book offers an innovative analysis of Dante’s figurative language in relation to both the theoretical framework developed in his works and the discursive strategies realised in his poetry. In doing so, it also provides an overview of Medieval theories of figurative language, with their respective concerns and overlaps. The first part, composed of four chapters, explores how Dante discusses figurative language in a selection of crucial passages from Vita nova, De vulgari eloquentia, Convivio, the epistle to Cangrande, Monarchia, and the Commedia. Each of these passages is investigated with respect to the specific issues at stake in each work, thus tracing a clear progression in Dante’s thought on figurative language, which is mirrored by an increasingly complex and conscious metaphorical practice. Such issues are then contextualised in the wider picture of the various theories of figurative language established by different Medieval disciplines (artes poetriae; artes dictaminis; biblical exegesis; artes praedicandi; epistemology). The second part provides an in-depth analysis of metaphors in Dante’s Commedia, through a close reading of multiple case studies. This section presents the methodology adopted for the identification and classification of Dante’s metaphors, and its main outcomes in terms of both quantitative and qualitative data. Its three chapters explore the linguistic components of the metaphors (meaning shift, morphology, syntax), then their stylistic features (semantics and pragmatics), and finally their distribution and mutual connections. The contemporary approaches adopted throughout the book contribute to the increasing complexity of Medieval disciplines concerned with figurative language.