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History of Italian Literature 101: Medieval Times - Carnival and Dante


The grotesque domain unveils a complex connection with human belief systems, folklore and “subcultures”, evoking a sense of macabre fascination. Within this series, we shall delve into the deep interplay between grotesque aesthetics and comic discourse, always keeping an eye out for comedy and satire. The captivating evolution of grotesque crosses multiple historical eras, each one bearing distinct comical genres that reflect the societies from which they emerged. By scrutinizing the historical contexts, we aim to discern the pivotal role they play in shaping humorous expressions, with a particular emphasis on the literary grotesque and its association with comedy in folklore. This series belongs to a course of Italian literature. Our focus shall concentrate on Italian comic literature, clarifying its intricate connections to its Latin and Greek origins.

Additionally, we venture into the realm of fables, timeless narratives that transcend cultural boundaries, leaving an indelible mark on our perception of humor. Both folktales and fables contribute to our collective understanding of how hilarity should be portrayed, providing enduring narratives that continue to resonate until now. Our exploration reveals that the quest for laughter remains a universal pursuit, intimately woven into the fabric of humanity and its literary creations.

This 101 series will be composed of seven articles, as follows:

  1. History of Italian Literature 101: Unraveling the Grotesque in Comedy and Satire

  2. History of Italian Literature 101: Classical Era I - the Greek Origins of Comedy

  3. History of Italian Literature 101: Classical Era II - Latin Comedies and Satire

  4. History of Italian Literature 101: Medieval Times - Introducing the Obscene

  5. History of Italian Literature 101: Medieval Times - Carnival and Dante

  6. History of Italian Literature 101: The Renaissance - The Success of the Commedia dell’Arte

  7. History of Italian Literature 101: The Folk-tale and its figures

History of Italian Literature 101: Medieval Times - Carnival and Dante

In order to fully understand the importance of the grotesque it is crucial to discuss what is defined as a carnival and why it has such a significant role when defining Western comedy and culture. Due to its folkloric nature, Carnival has long been affiliated with the lower ranks of art and literature. Simultaneously, it is this very association that has allowed Carnival to maintain profound connections with society, conceived as a homogeneous group laden with traditional significance.

An observation widely shared among scholars of Carnival is that it exhibits an open and elastic structure, susceptible to incorporating elements from diverse origins and expressing new content adapted to evolving needs. This complexity renders it challenging to provide a description that transcends a mere enumeration of recurring ceremonial elements, thus complicating the task of offering a univocal interpretation. Moreover, attempts to unify Carnival are hindered by the fact that it can be subjected to various interpretative frameworks—anthropological, sociological, historical, psychological, and aesthetic.

This article aims to delve specifically into the literary and social aspects of Carnival and the grotesque, highlighting the close connection this festivity shares with the medieval and later Renaissance artistic production in Italy.

Figure 1: Harlequin's Carnival (Mirò, 1925).

The Carnival tradition in Italy stands as a vibrant and culturally rich celebration, distinguished by its capacity to momentarily overturn societal norms and revel in a spirit of liberation. Rooted in historical and cultural significance, the essence of Carnival lies in its temporary suspension of social hierarchies, a unique characteristic that sets it apart as a time of collective festivity and unrestricted expression.

Carnival should be perceived as essentially “other”. This festivity is to be grasped as a moment when everything deviates from the ordinary, a time when the usual comes to a temporary halt. It is heterogeneous in comparison to established norms, and consequently, it becomes incomprehensible, disconcerting, alien, and fearful. In this regard, it takes on a comedic, grotesque, and flamboyant quality.

Etymology of Carnival

The word "Carnival" is indeed of Christian origin. It derives from the Late Latin expression "carne levare," meaning "to remove meat." Another interpretation suggests "carne vale," which translates to "farewell to meat." In both cases, the term signifies the impending fast associated with the Lenten season. The word "carne" can also be translated as "flesh," giving rise to the phrase "farewell to the flesh," embraced by some Carnival celebrants to capture the carefree spirit of the festival. This etymology reinforces the Christian roots of the celebratory period.

Figure 2: Detail of the Manuscript "The Maastricht Hours" (14th Century).

While some scholars support the meat-related origin, others propose a connection to a common meat-based country feast known as "carnualia" in Latin. Additionally, there is a suggestion that the term could be linked to the festival of the Navigium Isidis ("ship of Isis"), where the image of Isis was paraded to the seashore to bless the beginning of the sailing season. This festival featured a procession of masks following a decorated wooden boat known as "carrus navalis," possibly influencing both the name and the tradition of parade floats during Carnival (Sordi, 1982).

In order to appreciate the significance of Carnival within the realm of literature, it is essential to grasp the broader context of the terms “popular” and “folk”. Carnival's place in the popular genre is marked by its widespread appeal and adaptability. Rooted in folk traditions, its vibrant celebrations transcend cultural boundaries, drawing a diverse audience. The festival's diffusion into elite circles, historical ties to courtly rites, and integration into popular culture further solidify its dual identity. Carnival's ability to unite communities and captivate a broad audience underscores its unique position at the intersection of folk and popular genres.

By definition, anything with widespread mass dissemination is considered "popular." In this sense, the term contrasts something that garners common consensus and interest with something we commonly label as "elitist." Moreover, anything that relates to "low" social realities is considered "folk" in contrast to realities deemed "cultivated" or "cultured."

Following these methodological lines, Carnival falls into the category of festivals in the "folk" domain. Moreover, Carnival also fits, in some facets, into the "popular" genre. The diffusion over the centuries even in elite circles, considering certain courtly Carnival rites or songs of the late Humanism and the Renaissance, illustrates this. Undoubtedly, the "folkloric" aspect remains predominant in any case.

Figure 3: Carnival in Rome (Lingelbach, 1560).
The Origins of Carnival

The genesis of Carnival, with its grotesque underpinnings, can be discerned in time-honored festivities, notably the Greek Dionysian rites (Anthesteria) and the Roman Saturnalia.

In these ancient festivities, a transient dissolution of social obligations and hierarchies transpired, ushering in a carnivalesque inversion of societal order, a theatrical manifestation that sometimes teetered into the realms of jest and debauchery. The grotesque, as a concept deeply intertwined with the carnivalesque, reveals itself in the revelry's propensity for the exaggerated, the absurd, and the inversion of conventional norms.

Historically and religiously, Carnival embodied a period of festivity, simultaneously serving as a symbolic renewal where chaos momentarily eclipsed established order. This renewal, however, was ephemeral, with the re-emergence of a renewed or revitalized order following the culmination of the festive period—a cyclical phenomenon that persisted until the advent of the subsequent Carnival (Eliade, 1954).

During the Anthesteria, a procession featuring the chariot of the individual tasked with restoring cosmic order after a return to primordial chaos took precedence. Drawing parallels with Babylon, after the spring equinox, a reenactment of the original cosmic foundation process occurred, mythically narrated through the confrontation between the savior god Marduk and the dragon Tiamat (King, 1902). These ceremonies, akin to grotesque theatrical performances, allegorically represented the forces of chaos hindering the universe's re-creation—a narrative echoing the myth of Marduk's death and resurrection, the savior.

Figure 4: Attic red-figure Anthesteria oinochoe (ca. 410–390 BC).

The conceptual framework of this cycle essentially aligns with the solar year, harking back to ancient Roman traditions. The festival venerating the Egyptian goddess Isis, assimilated into the Roman Empire, saw the presence of masked groups, as Lucius Apuleius recounted in his Metamorphoses (Book XI). The conclusion of the Roman year was symbolically marked by a figure adorned in goat skins, a symbolic character paraded through the streets, subjected to mock blows, and designated as Mamurius Veturius. Mamurius Veturius is a figure from Roman mythology associated with the festival of Equirria, which was held in March. According to tradition, Mamurius Veturius was a legendary smith or artisan who crafted the shields for the Salii, a group of priests dedicated to Mars, the Roman god of war. The shields were carried in procession during the Equirria festival, which marked the beginning of the military campaign season.

Noteworthy historian of religions Mircea Eliade, in his seminal work The Myth of the Eternal Return, expounds on the cyclical nature of Carnival's symbolic renewal, drawing attention to ritual combats, the presence of the deceased, and the unrestrained revelry akin to the Saturnalia. Eliade posits that these elements signify a repetition of the mythical transition from Chaos to Cosmogony, an annual cyclical reenactment rooted in the eternal return motif.

Eliade further contends that this period of revelry, marked by a temporary dissolution of temporal boundaries, allows for the return of the deceased. This paradoxical moment, where time is annulled, facilitates the contemporaneous existence of the living and the dead, a narrative that intertwines with the grotesque as a form of carnivalesque inversion and liberation.

In examining the anthropological and historical dimensions, Carnival's grotesque manifestations, observed among Indo-European, Mesopotamian, and other civilizations, serve not merely as moments of revelry but possess a profound purificatory significance. This grotesque revelry becomes a medium for societies to periodically regenerate, symbolically abolishing the constraints of the past and reenacting cosmogony—a profound need for renewal embedded in the fabric of human culture (Eliade, 1954). This grotesque essence, with its revelry in chaos, dissolution, and renewal, is a thematic thread that weaves through the rich tapestry of Carnival's historical and cultural manifestations.

Figure 5: The fight between Carnival and Lent (Bruegel, 1559).
Carnival in the Middle Ages

In the medieval era, Carnival signified a festive interlude commencing post-Epiphany season, attaining its zenith on Shrove Tuesday. The erudite observations of historian John Bossy (1983) underscored the distinctly Christian and medieval origins of Carnival, dispelling prevailing notions of pre-Christian cults before the 13th century. Functioning as a prelude to the austere fasting period of Lent, Carnival embodied a final period of conviviality and indulgence, notably characterized by the copious consumption of meat. This was a delectable extravagance destined for restriction during the subsequent season of penitence. The carnival feast, beyond its culinary aspect, assumed a multifaceted role, providing the community with a collective forum to partake in festivities and, traditionally, to emancipate suppressed desires. Carnival, therefore, served as a cathartic release, affording common folk a concluding opportunity to savor substantial repasts before the impending dearth of winter's culmination. This celebratory occasion, colloquially referred to as "vastenavond" (the days leading to fasting), witnessed the exhaustive consumption of residual winter stores to avert spoilage, thereby mirroring the imperative to secure sustenance until the vernal season ushered in new food sources. Evolving as a carnival feast entrenched in expressions of sexuality and community-wide revelry, this medieval tradition assumed profound cultural significance, delineating a collective need for catharsis before the impending sobriety of Lent. In this nuanced medieval tapestry, Carnival not only reflected the intricate interplay between cultural expressions and the liturgical calendar but also underscored the societal imperative for a harmonious release and renewal (Sordi, 1982).

Rooted in the historic and cultural fabric of Carnival festivals worldwide, masks enable individuals to momentarily shed their everyday roles and adopt new, often fantastical, personas, which in Latin literally translates as "mask". The act of wearing a mask provides a sense of anonymity, allowing each one to express themselves freely without the constraints of their usual identities. This transformative aspect of masking aligns with the carnivalesque spirit, where the boundaries between social classes, genders, and even moral codes are temporarily blurred. Masks, whether elaborate and ornate or simple and symbolic, become vehicles for personal expression, social critique, and the celebration of diversity during the festive period of Carnival.

Figure 6: Harlequin and Colombina (Ferretti, 18th Century).

This tradition continues nowadays in Carnival celebrations across the globe. Masks manifest in various forms, each carrying its own cultural significance. For example, the Venetian Carnival is renowned for its elaborate masks, such as the iconic Bauta, with its square jawline and chin extension, allowing wearers to speak, eat, and maintain anonymity simultaneously. Similarly, the Colombina mask, adorned with intricate patterns and a beak-like nose, is a symbol of femininity and elegance. In South America, particularly during Brazil's vibrant Carnival, masks range from the traditional to the contemporary. These diverse examples showcase how masks in Carnival serve as dynamic cultural artifacts, embodying history, satire, and the universal human desire for transformation and expression.

The Grotesque in Carnival

The incorporation of the grotesque is pivotal when delving into discussions about Carnival, as it serves as an intrinsic element in shaping the essence of this festive tradition. The grotesque, with its roots deeply embedded in medieval and Renaissance Carnival celebrations, adds layers of meaning and significance to the revelry. It acts as a transformative force, allowing for the suspension of societal norms, the inversion of hierarchical structures, and the reveling in the absurd. The carnivalesque spirit, characterized by the grotesque, manifests in exaggerated forms, theatrical performances, and a deliberate distortion of reality. Through the lens of the grotesque, Carnival becomes a realm where the boundaries between the ordinary and the extraordinary blur, enabling a temporary escape from the constraints of everyday life. Moreover, the grotesque in Carnival serves as a powerful tool for social critique, allowing participants to engage in satire, humor, and the subversion of conventional norms. In this context, the grotesque not only adds a layer of entertainment to the festivities but also becomes a vehicle for societal commentary, enabling a collective catharsis and the expression of collective desires that might be suppressed in conventional social settings. Therefore, exploring the role of the grotesque in Carnival illuminates the profound and multifaceted significance of this celebratory tradition (Sordi, 1982).

Carnival Theory in literature, influenced by the groundbreaking ideas of Russian literary critic and philosopher Mikhail Bachtin, posits that the carnivalesque represents a distinct and liberating literary mode. Bachtin's theory, outlined in his work Rabelais and His World, suggests that the carnival, with its temporary suspension of societal norms and hierarchical structures, offers a space for subversion, parody, and renewal. In literature, Carnival Theory manifests through narratives that embrace the festive spirit of carnival, where traditional roles are overturned, and the grotesque takes center stage. Characters and events within these narratives often embody the carnivalesque inversion, challenging established authority and providing a platform for social critique. This theory has been applied to a diverse range of literary works, from medieval folk tales to modern novels, highlighting how the carnivalesque serves as a powerful tool for writers to engage with and comment on societal structures and norms. Carnival Theory thus unveils literature's capacity to reflect, question, and subvert the prevailing order through the lens of the carnivalesque.

Figure 7: Harlequin (Picasso, 1925).

In this specific niche, medieval literary production played a major role, especially with the figure of the jester, as mentioned in the previous article. However, Carnival emerges as a potent muse in many works, such as the Divine Comedy itself, captivating the creative imagination with its kaleidoscopic blend of revelry, grotesquerie, and societal inversion. The grotesque, an indispensable companion to Carnival, becomes a thematic linchpin in literary depictions of this festive tradition. Within the literary tapestry, the grotesque, often embodied in vivid characters and absurd scenarios, serves as a tool for satirical commentary, and humor. Writers have harnessed the carnivalesque spirit to articulate social critiques and explore the boundaries of normative existence. Notably, the portrayal of hell and demonic entities within the Carnival framework adds a layer of complexity to the narrative. Examining the most grotesque of all cantos in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy the Malebranche, and the pivotal figure of Alichino (Harlequin), literature intertwines the demonic with the carnivalesque, creating a symbiotic relationship between hellish imagery and societal satire. This literary exploration of Carnival and the grotesque not only entertains but also illuminates the multifaceted nature of human existence, inviting readers to confront the absurdities of social norms and revel in the liberating spirit of Carnival (Vela, 2014).

The Importance of Hell

Hell, within the context of Carnival, assumes a profound significance as a thematic backdrop that intertwines the grotesque, societal criticism, and the liberation inherent in this festive tradition. The portrayal of hell in literature becomes a metaphorical space where the norms and constraints of the every day are turned upside down, allowing for a carnivalesque inversion of order. Hell, with its chaotic and grotesque imagery, serves as a canvas for writers to depict a tangled world where the conventional rules are suspended and the absurdities of human existence come to the forefront (Crimi & Marcozzi, 2013).

During the Middle Ages, the portrayal of Hell was deeply influenced by religious beliefs and a vivid imagination that sought to depict the consequences of sin and the afterlife. In medieval Christian theology, Hell was often depicted as a place of eternal damnation, where the souls of the wicked endured unimaginable torments. Artists and writers of the time conveyed this vision through vivid and gruesome imagery, such as fiery pits, demonic creatures, and torturous landscapes. The concept of Hell served as a powerful tool for religious authorities to instill fear and enforce moral conduct among the medieval populace. In literary works like Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Hell was meticulously mapped out into various circles, each reserved for different sins, further emphasizing the hierarchical nature of divine retribution. This medieval portrayal of Hell, infused with both theological gravity and creative embellishments, reflected the broader cultural and religious milieu of the time, shaping perceptions of the afterlife for generations to come (Bellomo, 2013).

Figure 8: The Ghost spoken of (Inferno: Canto 34) (Dalì, 1960-1964).

In the Middle Ages, the concept of Hell served not only as a theological warning but also as a narrative tool to explore societal norms and human folly. The grotesque and chaotic nature of Hell in medieval literature often mirrored the topsy-turvy world associated with Carnival traditions, where social hierarchies were temporarily upended. In Italian literature, Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron features tales that touch upon the consequences of human vices, often employing darkly humorous and satirical elements reminiscent of carnival (Migliorini, 2019). Likewise, medieval Italian mystery plays, performed during religious festivals, incorporated scenes depicting the torments of Hell, blending religious morality with the theatrical and often carnivalesque. The interplay between the grotesque portrayal of Hell in medieval literature and the carnivalesque spirit underscores how these narratives served not only as cautionary tales but also as a means of cultural expression, tapping into the collective imagination and reflecting the dynamic cultural landscape of medieval Italy (Crimi, 2014).

Dante’s Carnival Aspects

Dante's Inferno, the first part of his epic poem The Divine Comedy, presents a meticulously structured vision of Hell.

The structure of Dante's Inferno is a journey through the realms of Hell, guided by a profound moral and theological framework. Comprising nine circles, each dedicated to a specific sin and its corresponding punishment, the infernal landscape descends deeper into darkness with increasing severity of sins. The circles are connected by a central pit, and Dante, guided by the Roman poet Virgil, navigates through these realms, witnessing the consequences of human transgressions. As the narrative unfolds, Dante encounters various historical and mythological figures, each serving as a symbolic representation of their sins and divine justice. The descent through Hell is not only a physical journey but also a spiritual and moral one, ultimately culminating in the frozen depths of Satan's domain at the center. Dante's "Inferno" functions as a complex allegory, illustrating the consequences of sin, the nature of divine justice, and the intricate moral order that governs the afterlife (Inglese, 2002).

The Malebolge, a term translating to "evil pouches" or "evil ditches," is a specific section within the larger infernal landscape. It comprises ten concentric circular trenches, each representing a different sin and its corresponding punishment. These ditches are connected by bridges and are guarded by demonic beings, such as the Malebranche. The sins punished in the Malebolge range from fraudulent acts like sorcery, flattery, and simony to more severe offenses like treachery. Each trench has its unique torments, escalating in severity as one descends deeper into the infernal abyss. Dante's infernal journey is not only a physical descent but also a symbolic exploration of the consequences of human sin (Bellomo, 2013). The Malebolge exemplifies Dante's ingenious use of structure, symbolism, and narrative progression to illustrate the intricate moral order of his Hell, providing readers with a vivid and allegorical representation of divine justice.

Figure 9: The Departure of the Grand Voyage (Dalì, 1960-1964).

In Dante's Divine Comedy, particularly in the depiction of the Malebolge in the Inferno, there are discernible Carnival aspects that resonate with Mikhail Bachtin's theory of the carnivalesque. According to Bakhtin, the carnivalesque is characterized by the suspension of hierarchical structures, the inversion of social norms, and the celebration of the grotesque. In the Malebolge, Dante crafts a vivid portrayal of a topsy-turvy world where the traditional order is temporarily overturned. The demonic figures known as the Malebranche, guarding the trenches, exhibit characteristics of the grotesque and comical, resembling carnivalesque figures. The sinners, engaged in various forms of treachery, often outwit and mock the Malebranche, disrupting the usual power dynamics associated with Hell. This inversion of authority aligns with Bachtin's idea that the carnivalesque provides a space for social critique and liberation. Furthermore, the carnivalesque atmosphere is heightened by the grotesque punishments and the grotesque fusion of horror and humor, emphasizing the complex interplay between the terrifying and the comical in Dante's vision of Hell.

The Malebranche

The section of Hell in the Divine Comedy (Inf. 21 and 22) focuses on, namely the ditch of the Barattieri (“Corrupted”) witnesses a sudden change in the poetic style. The elements Dante employs multiply not only in direct references to the demonic beasts but also in the entire vocabulary surrounding them. As a result, the Cantos become the most comedic, animalistic, and realistic of the entire oeuvre.

In Dante Alighieri's intricate tapestry of the Inferno, one encounters a memorable and peculiar group known as the Malebranche. These demonic entities, with names like Alichino, Calcabrina, and Barbariccia, evoke an intriguing connection to the carnivalesque and grotesque traditions. The very nomenclature of these fiends, reminiscent of carnivalesque figures, hints at the intricate interplay between the terrifying and the comical within Dante's vision of Hell. The Malebranche make their notable appearance in the bolgia, or ditch, of the corrupted, specifically in the 21st and 22nd cantos. This dark and chaotic realm features the sinners, individuals guilty of corruption, immersed in a cauldron of boiling pitch. The Malebranche, true to their demonic nature, oversee this grotesque spectacle (Vela, 2014). Dante employs these devilish figures to not only represent the punitive forces of Hell but also to subvert traditional power dynamics. In this anarchic landscape, sinners often outwit the Malebranche, highlighting the inversion of societal norms. As one explores the comedic and carnivalesque nuances of the Malebranche, their presence becomes a fascinating lens through which to unravel Dante's intricate blend of the horrifying and the absurd in the Divine Comedy.

Dante chooses to employ a harsh rhyme scheme that emphasizes the true peculiarity of this Lower Hell, namely the anarchy underlying the actions of both sinners and the true protagonists of the ditch: the Malebranche. In this sense, the social order is completely overturned, as the devils are often mocked by the sinners. The pair of Cantos are thus comedic due to their grotesque and carnivalesque nature. The ditch itself is dark, being essentially a cauldron containing boiling pitch in which the grafters (or the corrupted) are immersed. This reference echoes the grotesque and simultaneously amusing atmosphere that this series of articles is trying to outline, explaining how the terrifying can encompass some of the comedic traits of literary tradition. These devils, the Malebranche, whose name in Old Italian recalls the word claws, do nothing but echo, with an allusive nomenclature, ferocious and obscure traits like the entire environment surrounding them. The pitch thus reveals a type of sin that moves within the ranks of a lack of transparency, voluntary and conscious, peculiar to the fault itself. According to Andrea Battistini in his essay, Dante's language reaches a peak of viscosity in vocabulary that makes the sensation of being caught between the palates and being inside that boiling pitch pond realistic.

Figure 10: Dante's guide rebuffs Malacoda and his fiends in Inferno Canto 21 (Doré, 1832-1883).

An intriguing aspect of the Malebranche in Dante's Inferno is their names, which carry a distinct connection to the Carnival tradition and Italian folklore. The names of these demonic figures, such as Alichino, Barbariccia, and Draghignazzo, draw inspiration from the Commedia dell'arte and traditional Italian folklore characters. Alichino, for instance, is associated with the character Harlequin (Arlecchino), a prominent figure in the Italian theatrical tradition known for his acrobatics and mischievous behavior. The origin of the name Alichino is one of the most interesting among the group of demons. Scholars, such as Bosco, believe that Dante drew inspiration for the choice from the demon Hellequin, present in many legends and popular depictions as a demon. It was already popular with similar names (Annequin, Hennequin, Hannequin) in France and Provence and likely in central-northern Italy when Dante would have recycled this name, completely Italianizing it, for one of his devils.

The figure of Hellequin was first documented in Italy in literature through Dante, and, through various transformations, it would later become the famous Arlecchino in Venice. As for the root of the name, it is of Germanic origin: Hölle König (king of hell), translated into Helleking, then into Hellequin, Harlequin, and so on (Crimi, 2014).

This connection adds a layer of cultural richness to Dante's depiction of the Malebranche, infusing elements of popular and folk culture into the cosmic narrative of the Divine Comedy. It reflects Dante's nuanced approach, blending high literature with the vibrant and theatrical traditions of his cultural milieu.

Bibliographical References

Alighieri, D. (2007) [original work published in 1472]. Commedia. Carocci.

Battisini, A. (1997). L'arte d'inabissarsi o la retorica della "tenace pece" ("Inferno", XXI), in «L'Alighieri. Rassegna bibliografica dantesca», 38, n.s., IX, pp. 73-92.

Bachtin, M. (2001) [orginal work published in 1965]. L’Opera di Rabelais e la Cultura Popolare. Einaudi.

Bossy, J. (1983). The Mass as a Social Institution 1200-1700. Past & Present, 100, 29–61.

Bellomo, S. (2012). Filologia e Critica Dantesca. La Scuola SEI.

Crimi, G. & Marcozzi, L. (2013). Dante e il Mondo Animale. Carocci editore.

Curtius, E. R. (1973). European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. Bollingen Series / Princeton Press.

Eliade, M. (2018) [original work published in 1949]. Il mito dell’Eterno Ritorno. LindauTorino: Edizioni Lindau, 2018.

Inglese, G. (2002). Guida alla Divina Commedia. Carocci.

Migliorini, B. (2019). Storia della lingua Italiana. Bompiani.

Sordi, I. (1982). Interpretazioni del Carnevale, in La Ricerca Folklorica, No. 6, pp. 21-36.

Vela, C. (2014). Canto XXI; Crimi, G. (2014), Canto XXII, in Lectura Dantis Romana, II. Salerno Editrice.

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Alessandra Cipolloni

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