Virgil's Virtue In The Divine Comedy

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Throughout the Divine Comedy, Virgil served an essential role in guiding and teaching the Pilgrim. By having Virgil be the pilgrims guide, Dante (the author) illustrates how important Virgil is in providing a pagan perspective to the poem. In spite of Virgil’s pagan view, this is seemingly altered through the course of the poem. At multiple points in the inferno and purgatorio Virgil shows signs of change, through actions like confession to his sins and reflecting on why he was placed in Hell. Comparatively though, through Virgil’s actions in other parts of the poem, he also demonstrated not changing in slightest. Dante best demonstrates virtue without divine revelation can only get the soul as far as Eden (earthly paradise) in multiple instances involving Virgil.…show more content…
If when talking about an earthly paradise, it would make complete sense that Dante -whom held the great reasoners in high regard as well- would use the works of these reasoners as a model for this paradise. In Plato’s Republic, one of the integral parts of a perfect city would be the four virtues: justice, fortitude/courage, prudence/wisdom, and temperance/moderation. Throughout the Divine Comedy, there are multiple instances where Dante points to the four virtues described by the great reasoners. Upon arriving at purgatory, Dante bears witness to “those four stars” (Dante 1-28) obviously representing the four virtues. Later in purgatory as well, Virgil himself witnesses “the four bright stars you saw… where those four were, these three now are” (Dante 8-91-93), but this time with the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. With these virtues placed at the beginning of mount purgatory, it is obvious that Dante means to clearly portray that any soul worthy of entering purgatory must have each of the aforementioned virtues. Souls in purgatory do not
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