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Carol Bensick in "Re-Allegorizing 'Rappaccini's Daughter'" from New Essays on Hawthorne's Major Tales argues for the benefit of reading "Rappaccini's Daughter" as an allegory in light of the issues raised through an examination of intellectual history.

"Critics who treat Beatrice allegorically are not injecting anything into the tale. They are merely obeying its signal. Her character might be an imitation of Dante or, at the other extreme, a satire of him. At the very least, to approach Beatrice through Dante--that is, allegorically--entails fewer restrictions on the critic than does the determination to connect her with a woman out of Hawthorne's biography" (71). (courtesy of Cambridge University Press)

Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/10320/

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