1st Edition

A Semiotics of Multimodality and Signification in the Divine Comedy

By Raffaele De Benedictis Copyright 2024
    260 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A new critical method for the Divine Comedy which focuses not only on language-as-writing but also and equally on other discursive modes that the Divine Comedy authorizes. Multimodality was already present in Dante’s time, and the reception of the Divine Comedy took place multimodally. Thus, a theoretical study of multimodality carried out under the semiotic lens sheds light on how and why a mode is more effective than another and/or how they may combine in producing signification and new ontologies warranted by Dante’s text. Also, we do not yet have a critical theory that allows us to understand the function of multimodality for the creation of new forms of signification and of clarifying the ontological boundaries set forth by different modalities. It is a new and original study which contributes to the advancement of Dante Studies, Literary Criticism (with a focus on literary semiotics), Multimedia/Multiliteracy, philosophy of language, communication, and education.

    Chapters 1, 2, and 5 of this book are freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at  http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.  .

    List of abbreviations

    1. A Semiotic Theory of Multimodality for the Divine Comedy

    2. The Semiotics of Multimodality in Discourse

    3. Early and Recent Forms of Multimodality in the Inferno

    4. Purgatorio’s Signifying Modes

    5. Modality of Transcendental Signification in the Paradiso

    6. Conclusion



    Raffaele De Benedictis holds a Ph.D. in Italian from the University of Toronto and is Associate Professor of Italian at Wayne State University. He teaches courses on Dante, Literary Criticism, and Italian Culture. He is the author of two books and several articles on Dante, semiotics, and Italian culture.