Sinful And Divine Woman In Dante Alighieri's 'Divine Comedy'

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Sinful versus Divine Woman
Throughout the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri explores the idea of the passion by encountering with two women. One of these women, Francesca di Rimini, is guilty of the sin lust, while the second one, Beatrice, serves as a representation of divine love. These two women have similar experiences with their lovers; both have relationships outside marriage. Yet, they have opposite interpretations of what they experience and Dante suggests that their opposite interpretations caused them their own fates, putting one in Hell to be punished, and the other in Heaven, at a divine level. Thus, the female characters within the poem represent two distinct roles of women: either as pure and holy beings, or as sinful beings. Dante allows Francesca to commit a sin in real-life; she does not take the responsibility for her desire; and Dante’s attitudes reveal why Francesca is in Hell, while Beatrice is in Paradiso.
Francesca di Rimini and Paolo Malatesta are in the second circle of Hell, where the lustful sinners are punished. Francesca had an affair with her husband’s brother; two of them were innocently reading a romantic story – Lancelot, and swept up with romantic passion. Consequently, they are being punished together in Hell. The reader is guided through the lovers’ story through the voice of Francesca; Dante allows her to speak and convey her feelings. “Love, led us on to one death,” she says. She portrays herself as helpless and defenseless against the
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