Literary Elements In Dante's Inferno

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Dante’s Inferno is a timeless classic that everyone has been exposed to either through their literary pursuits or from references in popular media. The journey follows Dante himself as he and his guide, Virgil, travel through the nine circles of hell and Dante’s is taught the sins and punishments that correspond to each one. Using many literary techniques and references, he creates a world with several components and even more meanings- most significantly towards the beginning of the story as Charon is introduced and Dante’s presence is finally acknowledged in the inferno as an anomaly and is then implied as a mistake. Charon acts as a gatekeeper. When a soul dies, they must gain passage across the river, and Charan decides who may boat across. This is an intertextual reference to Greek mythology, where Charon is a ferryman who only allows those who have been buried properly to cross, determining so based on his receiving of payment in the form of the coins they are buried with. Upon seeing Dante, he demands that he “leave this place,/ You living soul, stand clear of those who are dead!”(3.72-73). Since Dante’s journey is just beginning, he does not obey, which infuriates Charon. Dante and Virgil, however, had not yet asked for passage across. Dante’s sheer presence is the problem. Throughout the story, many characters express their ability to see the future, and who will end up where. Charon can be assumed to have this ability as well. With Charon having this ability,

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