Dante’s Vita Nuova: who is the Teacher and who is the Student?

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Dante’s Vita Nuova represents what could be termed as a text of High Middle Ages. The poem explores literary construction the myth of the contemporary love in the European world. In a late eleventh century, approximately two hundred before Vita Nuova was written, European culture began to experience some re-evaluation of the representation of woman and the experience of erotic longing. This essay attempt to unravel between Dante and Beatrice who is the teacher and who is the student from Vita Nuova’ account?

Dante’s poet played a pivotal role in cultural movement particularly on love and the description of the artist of Dante as a youthful man. Dante recounts his awakening for a romance with a woman who later emerged erotic pole luminary and an ultimate amuse. Although the poem has become one of the favorite works to most young readers, the love account has been perceived as enigmatic by it critics. Many have claimed that Beatrice is nothing but a Dante statute meant for a symbolic reason.

Vita Nuova is credited as reformatory work in European vernacular poetry.  The poet is recognised for its expansion of scope beyond the demarcation of medieval love lyrics. Dante occasionally is seen transforming himself from love poem composer into a more committed craft. Through lengthy commentaries of the recount, Dante’s feeling for Beatrice is transformed to a more religious outlook. After the death of Beatrice, temporarily, Dante solace with a causal love “donna gentile.” “Look, yes, I am Beatrice! Really? Did you condescend to climb this mountain? Here man is happy: did you know?” While in reflection Dante perceives the obsession as Beatrice’s memory betrayal, the last episode confirms his affection is transforming material love into a religious incident

Dante, the poet of Vita Nuova, is entirely depicted as the teacher who has presented his poem in a vernacular that has been regarded suitable for comedy reason. The plot of his poet reflects the flow of standard comedy. Vita Nuova concerned humanity as an essential aspect and the consequence of earthly life. Vita Nuova, being a first person narrative, represents an autobiography of the narrator. Due to Dante’s unique feature regarding historical memory manipulation to attain allegoric meanings, one critic expressed Vita Nuova as “poetic autobiography.” Besides as a teacher, Dante took an action of overlapping and shifting planes of certainty such as hallucinatory, prophetic, visionary and social.

Although the two protagonists felt in love affection while both were in their early ages: Dante at nine years and Beatrice at eight, in her later life till she died at the age of twenty for, the poem is the silence of education progress of Beatrice. Apparently, Dante contribution as teacher, poet and composer of love lyric is plain from the poem. Presumably, though the two appeared to be close age mates, no account of teaching experience or any literature work is narrated for Beatrice. Arguably, Beatrice was just a student whose death found her at an early age.

Nevertheless, Beatrice’s influence in La Vita Nuova was not just a little inspiration. Perhaps it is due to short of further inspiration following her death that made Dante withdraw into study concentration. Instead, Dante began to compose a memorable poem for her. Dante describes Beatrice as kind and good lady praising her goodness. It is clear that their very first meeting was during the May Day Party in Portinari house. The two were also neighbors in the outskirt of Walls of Florence.

In conclusion, if we can assume the critic regarding the existence of Beatrice as made by many readers; arguably, both protagonists in the poem-Dante and Beatrice can either be viewed as both the teacher and the students. The fact that Dante had written many poetic works and composed love lyrics can be argued that he was a teacher to many who admired his work. Similarly, as a teacher, Beatrice was a source of inspiration to Dante till she dies. Besides, the two learned from each other during their love interaction though the no clear account is made regarding Beatrice’s education occupation before her death.

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Dante’s Vita Nuova: Who is the Teacher and who is the Student?. (2019, Oct 10). Retrieved November 28, 2023 , from

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