Role Of Virgil In Dante's Inferno

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In Dante’s Inferno, the character of Virgil acts as a guide through Hell and Purgatory. In addition to this, it is almost universally agreed that Virgil is a depiction of the full extent of human intellect and that he also acts as a microcosm of how a good government should act. There are many reasons for this belief, such as how helpful he is throughout the two books he is in and where he is located in hell. The author Dante does something extra with Virgil and the character Dante though. Virgil is a representation of the Empire like Rome that Dante wanted to be established, and his relationship with Dante is a microcosm of the Church and the State. Virgil appears in the first chapter of the Inferno, saving Dante from the woods in which he found himself. As Virgil does for Dante, a…show more content…
Virgil answers Dante’s questions, some simple and others quite profound. Every time, Virgil has an eloquent response to the question. Virgil is the perfection of the human intellect, capable of understanding so much of the world without God. He seems to know all that could be known about Hell, and the sinners within. A good government will allow science and philosophical thought flourish. Humans desire to make art, to study, to write, etc. Within a good government, they can feel safe to further human knowledge. It will be run by intelligent people, supporting the expansion of knowledge within its citizens. An intelligent government will also be able to properly lead and protect its people in the same way that Virgil leads and protects Dante. Virgil is able to protect his pilgrim through various means, such as diplomatic relations with the centaurs, as well as calling upon an angel to open the gates of Dis for them. He also can lead him all the way up to Eden, the earthly paradise. Dante believed that a just government could bring about such a paradise, and thus Virgil’s travel to Eden is doubly
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