Beatrice "Bice" di Folco Portinari (Italian: [be.aˈtriːtʃe]; 1265 – 8 June 1290) was an Italian woman who has been commonly identified as the principal inspiration for Dante Alighieri's Vita Nuova, and is also commonly identified with the Beatrice who appears as one of his guides in the last book of the Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia), Paradiso, and in the last four canti of Purgatorio. There she takes over as guide from the Latin poet Virgil because, as a pagan, Virgil cannot enter Paradise and because, being the incarnation of beatific love, as her name implies, it is Beatrice who leads into the beatific vision. Just as Virgil represents human reason, so does Beatrice represent divine revelation, theology, faith, contemplation and grace.
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