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Intercantica Connections: Paradiso Cantos Three and Four

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  1. Introduction
  2. The first sphere of Paradise
  3. The one constant throughout the Comedy
  4. The three thinkers that Beatrice finds fault with
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Intercantica Connections
Paradiso Cantos Three and Four

While Dante's Divine Comedy is separated into three distinct sections, the entire work of literature is just that, one long book. Even though the sections take place in different settings, many parallels can be made from one canto to another. These parallels are termed ?intercantica? connections by the authors of one Dante translation, Robert Durling and Ronald Martinez. It is easy to see how some cantos relate to others from different sections of the Comedy, such as Beatrice being consistent throughout, or how the different factions of Italy, the Ghibilines and Ghelphs are spoken about. However, there are many more similarities among the different cantos than meets the eye. In Canto's three and four of the Paradise, Dante first enters into the sphere of the moon and finds Piccarda Donati. Piccarda was placed in her sphere because she failed to return to God, something that is a common three throughout the Comedy. Throughout these two cantos, Beatrice forces her views about many things upon the reader, going against past and respected philosophers. When looking closely at the work as a whole it is very easy to find connections about events and people.

[...] Dionysius set himself with such zeal to contemplate these orders that he named and distributed them as I do; but later Gregory differed from him, so that as soon as he opened his eyes in this heaven he smiled at himself (Par 133-135).? Beatrice does not just disagree with the former pope, but chides him. In the next canto, Par Beatrice pauses to answer a few of Dante's questions. Beatrice explains that God created angels in his own reflection, combining pure form and pure matter to create them. [...]


[...] my judgment, which cannot err, how just vengeance should be justly avenged has set thee pondering; but I will quickly free thy mind, and do thou hearken, for my words shall put before thee great doctrine (Par With these words, Beatrice declares that her judgment is infallible, and throughout the Paradise, she corrects many philosophical ideas that are assumed correct. This is even more surprising because she is a female, who forces her judgment upon those of men. The three thinkers that Beatrice finds fault with throughout the trip through heaven are Gregory the Great, Jerome, and Thomas Aquinas, though he is not specifically named. [...]

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