Theses Doctoral

Dante's Manhoods: Authorial Masculinities before the Commedia

MacKenzie, Lynn Erin

This study examines the ways that Dante uses concepts of the masculine in his early work to offer an analysis of the masculine ideals which lie at the basis of Dante's construction of himself as an author in the lyric poems and in his discussions of Latin and Italian. I describe ideals and conceptions of masculinity current in Dante's era, particularly the socially-adjudged behaviors and attitudes that underpin honor-culture, in order to delineate the ways in which Dante uses these conventions in lyric poems to make the poems themselves entries in an honor exchange among men. I also examine the opposed qualities coded as masculine and feminine in the classical literary and philosophical tradition, particularly mutability and constancy, and transmitted as a code of masculine ethical superiority in the Latin pedagogy of Dante's day, to define how masculine ideals determine Dante's initial definition of Latin as the nobler language in Convivio, as well as his reversal of that language hierarchy in De vulgari eloquentia.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Barolini, Teodolinda
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 7, 2013