Paraphrasing Practice to Improve Writing


Paraphrasing Exercise 4

Read the following passage and paraphrase it by putting it into your own words.

It has never been denied that Dante the political philosopher as well as Dante the poet assimilated to the full the political doctrines by which his century was moved. In fact, Dante held a key-position in the political and intellectual discussions around 1300, and if in a superficial manner he has often been labeled reactionary, it is simply the prevalence of the imperial idea in Dante’s works—different though it was from that of the preceding centuries—which obscured the overwhelmingly unconventional features of his moral-political outlook. From Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981.

Possible Paraphrase

There is not a single correct answer, but you could paraphrase the above passage by writing something like this:

Both as a poet and as a philosopher, Dante's political outlook was formed by the period in which he lived. During his liftime he even participated in important debates that were of a political and intellectual nature. Though it is true that certain themes in his writing broke with the past, Dante was more than a simple reactionary. His moral and political views were both quite extraordinary for his time.


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