Publication details [#12573]

Gilson, Simon A. 1999. Light reflection, mirror metaphors, and optical framing in Dante's comedy: precedents and transformations. Neophilologus 83 (2) : 241–252. 12 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Springer Netherlands


This paper explores how Dante uses mirror imagery in the Comedy through a research into earlier literary, scientific, philosophical, and theological written works, focusing on his own mirror comparisons and metaphors in Purgatorio and Paradiso. It is demonstrated that the author refers to various particular customs for his imagery and takes into account the way he converts them to carry out his own imaginative and structural plans in his work. After having probed into previous poetic treatment of mirrors related to planets, eyes, angels, and God, the last point of the paper is a study of the revision of Paul’s admired mirror metaphor in I Corinthians 13:12 in the Paradiso. It is put forward that this Pauline writing supplies a structuring general belief for Dante-personaggio’s own visual events in the final cantica before the author’s closer impressions about the deity in the poem’s final canto.