‘I’m not responsible for the man you are!': Crusading and masculinities in Dante’s Inferno

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


When examining such depictions of crusading masculinities it is essential to consider the socio-cultural contexts in which they are produced and the ideological purposes which they serve. Dante’s Inferno dramatises the recuperation of Dante’s masculinity via a pilgrimage of self-discovery. The gendered dimensions of the narrative and their interleaving with crusading tropes arguably present an authentic expression of certain medieval ideas about what it means to be a man, and the ways in which masculinity can be both lost and recovered. The significance of the siege and massacre at Acre as the game’s narrative fulcrum is then explored, in order to demonstrate the implications for its construction of Dante’s masculinity. To build on Spencer’s contention, the massacre, interpreted in this fashion, is therefore also revelatory of Richard’s dysfunctional gender identity, because the exercise of self-mastery was indispensable to medieval definitions of masculinity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlaying the Crusades
Subtitle of host publicationEngaging the Crusades
EditorsRobert Houghton
Place of PublicationLondon & New York
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781000360264, 9780429293269
ISBN (Print)9780367264413
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameEngaging the Crusades


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