Allegory In Dante's Inferno Essay

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In order for one’s message to influence their readers, they must do one thing: connect. If an author does not connect their reader’s previous knowledge with their story’s overall message, the message will never reach the reader. In order to create this connection, an author may use literary devices. Literary devices in The Inferno by Dante Alighieri produce understanding. These literary devices aid in a pagan’s comprehension of the allegory.
Notably, Dante uses allusions to guide the reader towards apprehension. For example, after Virgil states his mission, Dante exclaims “But I - how should I dare? By whose permission? I am not Aeneas. I am not Paul. Who could believe me worthy of the vision?” (Alighieri II.31-33). Here Dante compares himself
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While moving along the bank of the river of boiling blood, Dante notes “... the shrieking wraiths were boiled and dyed. Some stood up to their lashes in that torrent, and as we passed them the huge centaur said ‘Here they pay for their ferocity. Here is Alexander’” (Alighieri XII.103-107). Dante writes that Alexander the Great—a man adored throughout Italy—suffers greatly; this allusion to the Lord of Asia puts emphasis on the fact that anyone can go to Hell and even great people must pay for their sins. This allusion to a great historical figure aids the reader in understanding the purpose of the allegory.
Dante uses allusions to aid the reader in comprehending the meaning of his allegory. This symbolism helps the reader understand that they must repent their sins by alluding to historical figures or characters in mythology; it also creates a connection between the reader and the story. This connection allows Dante’s message to influence his readers. Without connections, a story cannot encourage, inspire, or motivate; meaning that without a connection a story has no
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