Purgatorio 9.6分
读书笔记 Notes to Canto XII

25–63 In this sequence of thirteen tercets, each with its example of punished pride, there are three sets of four tercets each. In each set, the four tercets begins with the same words: respectively, “I saw,” “O [followed by a proper name],” and “it showed.” In the thirteenth tercet each of its three lines begins with one of the aforementioned onset-words. This much can be, and is, carried over into the English. To this, Dante’s Italian adds the acrostic formed by the initial letters of the three onset-words: V O M, meaning “man,” since, in the orthography of the time, v and u were written identically. This bravura display by Dante is indebted to medieval Latin and to Romance emphasis on elaborate anaphora. It is very un-Virgilian and, for the poet who joins antiquity in the Limbo of Inferno IV, something of a relapse but, as such, is a perfect example of the sort of bravura that, in the poet, bolsters pride—the sin punished here on the First Terrace.

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