Comparing Love In Alighieri's Inferno And The Odyssey

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One prominent motif used in The Inferno by Dante Alighieri and The Odyssey by Homer is the idea of love as the momentum that pushes the protagonists of both stories to persevere in their journeys. In The Odyssey, Odysseus embarks on a journey of twenty years to reach his home in Ithaca and return to his beloved wife. Comparatively, Dante goes through Hell in order to reach his departed lover Beatrice, and in the process must go through many parts of the underworld and overcome the unique challenges found in each part of the under world that Dante went through so he could be reunited with his love. On their journeys, mystic beings aid both protagonists, allowing them to persevere in their treks. Neither story could be complete without the guidance…show more content…
In this instance, Virgil’s relationship with Dante has become one in which he would go through great lengths to assist Dante. When Dante says “my guide and master bore me on his breast,” he is conveying a sense of motherly comfort and protection, which exemplifies Dante's dependence on Virgil. Because, without Virgil, Dante would be…show more content…
Descending to the first gates of Hell, Dante and Virgil stop to look at the inscription on the gateway: "I was raised here by divine omnipotence, primordial love and ultimate intellect" (Canto 3, 5-6) Virgil explains to Dante that the roots of hell are created from the ideas of "Justice," " Wisdom," and "Primal Love." From the beginning of our story we can grasp from this scene our first indications of what justice means in the underworld. These inscriptions on hell’s gates, conveys the beginning of Dante’s journey through hell, which are driven by justice, primal love and reaching a higher wisdom as well. Susan E. Blow states, “Its implicit argument is this: If man is free he is responsible if he is responsible, justice requires the return of his deed upon him. To spare him the result of his own activity is to insult his ideal nature by denying his freedom. Hell is the Creator's final tribute of respect to the being he made in his own image; and, as both Wisdom and Love imply recognition of the essential nature of their object, they concur with Justice in demanding the punishment of the sinner” (125). In this part of the comedy, the reader is introduced to the theme of justice as correlated to a human's exact actions during his or her lifetime. Blow describes The Inferno to be full of varying punishments that are simply a correlation to the misconduct that was done while living. “The
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