“The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality” (Dante’s Inferno). Dante Alighieri was an Italian writer born in Florence. He made a huge impact between the late 1200’s and early 1300’s in Florence by his political views, ideology and writing style. In 1301 he was exiled out of Florence and from this he created his masterpiece, The Divine Comedy which houses Dante’s Inferno. Upon reading selections of Dante's Inferno (Cantos: one, three, five, and thirty-four) one cannot help but see that vast amount of allusion made by this world renown author.
In Dante’s The Inferno, each part of his journey through Hell is broken up into different cantos, often according to which circle or sin he is choosing to focus on. The Dante that is being written about needs Virgil, Dante’s beloved hero of a poet stuck in Limbo, to guide him. Ultimately, Virgil also guides us by teaching a lesson both Dante and the reader in every canto. One of Virgil’s biggest explanations to Dante takes place in Canto II when he tells Dante why he’s so special to be able to journey through Hell alive. What makes Canto II so intriguing is not only the abundance of backstory and context given for the purpose of Dante going through Hell, but the eloquent and poetic language used to tell the story and give us our first impression of Dante’s old love, Beatrice.
In Circle 5: Styx, Canto VIII, Filippo Argenti, a sinner of Wrathful, helped Dante to symbolize to readers his anger towards Black Guelphs, political enemies of the White Guelphs. In Circle 7: Round Three, Canto XV, Ser Brunetto Latino,
In the eighth layer of hell, Dante placed the fraudulent- those who used lie and deception for personal gain. Within this division, there are ten pits that further subdivide the sins of the fraudulent. Beowulf would be placed in the second pit of the Fraudulent with the flatterers. Beowulf would be a good fit for this section because of his warrior-like actions. He was extremely interested in defeating Grendel because of the harm the creature was causing on society.
For example, in The Inferno, Dante's entire story centered on an allegorical journey, made by a fictional version of himself, into the depths of hell. In turn, that journey detailed the various punishments ascribed by God for all sorts of sins and sinful acts and utilized references to numerous historical figures to embellish his storyline. One example of a historical figure’s presence was readily evident in The Inferno, in that the travel companion of the fictional Dante was Virgil. In many ways, the author Virgil was also a literal guide for the poet Dante because he revered the work of Virgil. In many ways, Dante sought to place himself on the same level as or above Virgil.
The construction of Frost’s poem closely resembles the poetic structure of Dante’s Inferno, as well as incorporates physical representations of its content. When writing La Divina Commedia in the 1300’s, Dante invented terza rima, an arrangement of rhyming triplets in iambs. It requires the last word of the second line in each tercet to provide the rhyme for the first and third lines in the next tercet (aba, bcb, cdc). It is likely that Dante’s choice of terza rima symbolizes the Holy Trinity, supporting the religious theme incorporated into the Inferno. Due to Inferno’s success, other poets attempted to employ terza rima in their poetry, such as the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who used it in “Complaints to his Lady” written in the 14th
He refers to Virgil as “fount from which pours forth so rich a stream of words” and a “famous sage” According to Oxford Dictionary Fount means a source of desirable quality and sage means a profoundly wise man. We know Virgil was a poet so in essence Dante is saying that Virgil is a wise and famous poet. In addition, Virgil like Dante lived through civil war and is the author of the Aeneid. The Aeneid is a story of a Trojan man ‘Aneneas’ who leaves his burning city (Troy) behind and travels to Italy Dante’s home in hopes of finding a glorious future. Virgil is a symbolic figure that represents Dante’s subconscious voice of reason in a state of madness.
Dante based The Inferno after Virgil 's book of Aeneid, Which was about the aftermath of the fall of Troy. Also Virgil describes in his story the basics of the afterlife which Dante used as the framework for his vision of the afterlife. Virgil was considered the best writer of Dante 's time and what better person to have as a guide then one of literature 's best writers. Virgil being the symbol of "Human Reason" would be the perfect guide through hell for Dante because he was in LIMBO which means he was born before Christ. Dante needed a good guide that would lead him out of hell.
One possible explanation of this is that each sin in itself can be viewed as a form of idolatry. As you engage in idolatry you begin to configure your life around your idol instead of configuring your life around God. Naturally this leads you away from God, and the farther away you become from God the more likely you are going to hell. Ultimately engaging in idolatry will lead you to hell. Dante shows this in his Inferno through many characters, such as Francesca, Ciacco, and
Not surprisingly then does Dante put his enemies, corrupt politicians, in Hell. Inferno begins by following Dante as he falls from his path of moral truth. Sin has obstructed his path to God. We never know what type of sin Dante has committed, this is not important, he has simply strayed from the straight path. Because the hero of the Inferno is also the writer, we have to look at both aspects of him, Dante the author and Dante the character.
Many of the sailors were accurately portrayed by their actions, by throwing slaves into the ocean, flogging, beaten, tortured, and other forms of cruel punishment. “Alexander Falconbridge was a surgeon on slave ships in the 18th century. An abolitionist and governor himself is guilty of all the violent attacks towards slaves. A disgraces to human nature, and profound language were brutal examples sailors often used towards slaves.” ( First Hand; Accounts Study). This is an example of history because many crew members hated slaves, which clearly bleeds through their thoughts and language.
In hell, Dante has the opportunity to speak with multiple sinners within the nine circles. Overall the journey took three days, beginning on Good Friday, and ending on Easter Sunday. Although Dante is considered to be one of the best Christian poets, he leaves no evidence of Christian forgiveness in his poem and bases his work off of the idea of severe ancient laws and divine retribution. The Inferno is considered a humanist work because of the references to ancient Greek characters, application of ordinary beings into a godly position and humanist concepts portrayed in scenes of motivation. In the Malebolge, the bridge from bolgia six to bolgia seven had been destroyed; because the bridge had fallen Dante and Virgil had to climb
46-49). Dante the author once again uses imagery reminds us of the terror of hell as Dante the character enters a new bolgia. He uses the Christian values to to judge people for what they did against God’s will as it says in the values. He emphasises the punishments such as this one to create this atmosphere. Dante often punishes the sinners according to what they did.