Machiavelli versus Dante: Larry Peterman

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Aug 9, 2019 12:55
Machiavelli versus Dante: Larry Peterman

The articles begins with some methodological questions about the correlation between politics and linguistic. Is Chomsky radicalism in politics related to his new ideas on syntax? The same question we could ask about Machiavelli. Are his ideas on language somehow correspondent with his political view?
The author is interested in proving the connection between political and linguistic arguments in Machiavelli; in doing this, he assumes that the Dialogue should be read on the perspectives of 'the battle between ancients and moderns', which is a classic readership of Machiavelli`s works.
The other question he poses is about patriotism; according to Machiavelli, Dante was not a good patriot. We can excuse him for using obscene or crude expressions he uses to describe Florence, as it comes from his language, which is innate, in a sense. But we cannot accept his denial of his own heritage; it is a false claim and also gullible.
To Machiavelli Dante owes everything to his own city and should thank her. Florence nurtured him with good schools and teachers, it gave him a language that was apt to be mold for poetry and comedy. In criticizing Florence so harshly, Dante does a reprehensible action that shows his resentment and crave for vendetta.
Machiavelli connects his resentment toward Florence and the apparent rejection of its language with the treatments of Florentine people in the Comedy, proving that a blind furor deprived him of a good judgement. In other words, Dante behaved politically in the Comedy as he does in 'De Vulgari Eloquentia' for what concerns language.