Voyages of the hart : the role of Love in psycho-cosmic jour

Medieval records of psycho-cosmic journeys arouse feelings of love. This is especially true of the Divine Comedy.Not only do they arouse these feeling but they are also heroic with the achievement of a great reward after a perilous undertaking and may involve a summons that is most often the result of supernatural forces at play. Indeed, we see this time and time again when Guillaume is sent on his perilous way by the white stag-doe, or in the agreement of Lucia and Beatrice for Dante's journey though hell and into heaven. The journeys also seem to involve the idea of dangerous undertakings as is seen with the situation that Ulysses found in Cato 26 of the "Inferno" but more so,the stories deal with the grace of God and the constancy of divine love for humans.
In looking at the "Divine Comedy," it is important to remember that medieval Europe was a far less secular world than we have today, with its centre in the papal courts of either Rome or, at this time, Avignon.In medieval Europe, pilgrimages were an important element of faith, often crossing hundreds of miles.To people who rarely travelled beyond ten miles from their homes, such a pilgrimage must have seemed nearly as daunting as the journey though hell seemed to Dante.From a social history perspective,I feel that the "Divine Comedy" echoesthe notion of pilgrimage. Just as Dante encounters many hardships in " Inferno" and to lesser extent, "Purgatorio," medieval travellers would have suffered a great deal during their journeys to far away places.Like Dante at the end of his journey looking on God, pilgrims at the end of their hardships might have the chance see the pope or a holy relic.The story of Guillaume is likewise a pilgrimage in that his journey to heal his wound takes him far from home through the unknown but at the end there are truly great rewards. Both of travellers set out after they have co…


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