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Reaktualisierung und Transformation epischer Strukturelemente bei Dante und Petrarca

Bernhard Huss

Pages 265 - 291

This article analyses the function of epic elements in texts by Dante (‚Commedia‘) and by Petrarch (‚Africa‘, ‚Trionfi‘ ). In doing so it mainly focuses on the invocation of the Muses; in addition to that it discusses how Petrarch’s Trionfi re-actualize the technique of the epic catalogue. In Dante’s invocations of the Muses the Virgilian tradition of this epic tool is modified in order to strengthen the poet’s self-authorization; the ‚Commedia’s‘ Muses are not responsible for the transmission of knowledge and have only a subsidiary function as far as the elaboration of poetic diction is concerned. Petrarch’s latin epic, on the contrary, returns to ancient tradition: Against Dante it re-establishes the Muses as purveyors of knowledge. At the same time, however, it vigorously highlights the importance of the author’s individuality for the constitution of the epic text. Petrarch’s ‚Trionfi‘ use yet another anti-dantesque strategy: They completely eliminate the Muses, because in this text the author evokes historical subject-matter autonomously while also shaping its linguistic expression in stylistic self-sufficiency.


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