In his Scelta di poesie filosofiche (1622), Tommaso Campanella presents himself at times as another Prometheus, the Titan punished by his god for daring to bring illumination to human beings, other times as a Jonah figure, a prophet who in his reluctance to fulfill his divine command finds himself imprisoned in the most absurd conditions, and still other times as an alter-Christus, submitting to tortures and self-sacrifice out of a desire to save humankind. While previous scholars have studied Campanella's philosophical thought and poetic language and have found them to be inspired by Lucretian atomism, Dantean language, and the spirit of the Psalms, among other sources and influences, this article focuses on the models that Campanella chooses for his poetic persona. Relying on both Campanella's poetry and the self-commentary that Campanella included with his poems, the author argues that Campanella's choices for his three primary self-representational models of Prometheus, Jonah, and Christ help to delineate the impetus for Campanella's own poetic-vatic enterprise and the underlying rationale for his 'anti-canzoniere'.


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pp. 35-55
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2009
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