Although Dante incorporates many of the great medieval thinkers into his final canticle, few are more represented than Boethius in the Circle of Mars. As we progress through Mars, we get a sense that Dante is using the ideas of Boethius as a support for himself as both a pilgrim and poet. As a poet, Dante seems to be inspired by the connections between his life and the life of Boethius. This connection is explored in deeper detail through a discourse on Fortune and wisdom. For Boethius, an abandonment of the wheel of Fortune leads to a life devoted to the good. In this way, Dante the poet identifies with Boethius’ initial bitterness to loss, but ultimate gain in transcending Fortune. As a pilgrim, Dante develops intellectually as Cacciaguida recapitulates the Boethian solution to the problem between divine foreknowledge and human free will. Indeed, the argument serves as a preparation for the pilgrim before his bittersweet future is revealed. By the end of the journey through Mars, we see that Dante has combined these two perspectives through the Boethian claim that everything is done for the sake of the good.
"The Consolation of Boethius for Dante the Poet and Pilgrim,"
Proceedings of GREAT Day: Vol. 2010
, Article 7.
Available at: https://knightscholar.geneseo.edu/proceedings-of-great-day/vol2010/iss1/7