Allegory In Dante's Inferno

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Dante’s Inferno represents a microcosm of society; meaning, laymen, church, politicians, and scholars are all compiled into one place and punished for their sins. Hell, despite being depicted as brutal, ugly, and chaotic, is made realistic because the inhabitants come from every country and every walk of life. While Dante Alighieri did not invent the idea of Hell itself, he did create an important and in depth concept that still receives attention in biblical, classical, and medieval works. The Divine Comedy itself was written sometime between the years 1308 and 1321 and scholars still consider it the “supreme work of Italian literature.” The work itself is an epic poem divided into three separate sections: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso; respectively Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. Inferno explores the descent of mankind into sin. The work’s vast usage of imagery and symbols, a powerful allegory, and well known allusions highlight political issues whilst dealing with the nature of sin and the road to salvation. In Inferno, Dante is forced to take a journey through hell. With the help of Virgil, his personal tour guide, Dante sees the different kinds of sins, as well as their contrapasso, or…show more content…
The poem begins with Dante lost in the woods and attacked by a lion, a leopard, and a she-wolf symbolizing pride, envy, and avarice. He is essentially forced off his path towards heaven which is represented by a mountain. The entire journey recorded in the Divine Comedy is a depiction of mankind’s fall into sin before achieving redemption and eventual salvation. In my opinion, Dante’s life on earth had become his own personal hell. Therefore, the first installment of the Divine Comedy is his way of sharing that, all the while exposing the corruption of society to the world. Dante’s disdain for society is apparent by his use of real life people in order to show readers the corruption the medieval world had
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