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FOSCOLO’S PARALLEL BETWEEN DANTE AND PETRARCH: A PERFECT HARMONY OF CONTRASTS 

 

Assunta De Crescenzo

 

 

During his stay in England from 1816 to 1827, Ugo Foscolo was particularly aware of the importance of giving a new value and deeper meanings to Italian literature; that is why a fresh approach was needed in his mind, a sort of well combined mixture of a carefully philological analysis of texts and a detailed psycho- logical exegesis based on historical evidence. He was convinced that eliciting an emotional response, together with a historical persuasion, was the best way to properly spread a better knowledge of the classics of Italian literature, avoiding cultural approximations and superficial interpretations. Therefore, through a close examination of the Parallel between Dante and Petrarch, the present essay aims at illustrating Foscolo’s original comparative discourse on the major Italian poets of the Middle Ages.