Dante The Pilgrim Analysis

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In The Comedy, Dante the Pilgrim develops a relationship with his damned idol, Virgil, in order to journey through both Inferno and Purgatory. Even though Virgil was a good man while living, he lacked understanding of certain virtues, like pride, which prevented him from being able to reach higher levels in the afterlife. Dante the Poet’s choice to damn Virgil conveys that obeying a higher order is the way to one’s salvation. The developing relationship between Virgil and Dante the Pilgrim throughout the first two canticles brings light to the opposing separation between the two characters because of the devotion Dante has to Christian virtues in comparison to Virgil’s pagan misunderstanding of virtue. While Dante the Pilgrim experiences many…show more content…
5.141). This reaction seems misplaced since Dante is talking to two people who committed a deadly sin; however, this reaction conveys that Dante believes that love itself is a valuable virtue, but the reader must be aware that adulterous love is not virtuous. The position that Dante the Poet establishes is that the souls in Hell are there not only because they committed sins, but because they corrupted pure virtues to work in their favor. In Purgatory, Dante encounters lust and love again, but the souls have a love for God in addition to the perverted love they had in their life. Virgil presents to Dante that there is a love that is naturally within everyone and that the “natural is always without error / but mental love may choose an evil object / or err through too much or too little” (Pur. 17.94-96). Dante already presents a main difference between the two realms because in Inferno there was only a singular, misplaced love and now in Purgatory, there are two types of love, with one a faithful love. Even though the souls in Purgatory sinned, they still had a natural love for God that allowed them the…show more content…
In Paradiso, the eagle tells Dante “Eternal Judgement to you mortals” (Par. 19.98-99) is past human understanding, this avoiding response conveys that the decision of the afterlife is above humans. In this encounter, the eagle also describes a pagan who lived before Christ, but still “all he [did was] good; / there [was] no sin within his life or speech” (Par. 19.74-75). Dante includes this portion to persuade non-Christians that his message is all-encompassing regardless of religious background. Dante the Poet’s persuasion to live life according to the virtues for something higher than yourself in relation to pagans is also in the final encounter with Virgil in Purgatorio. Even though Virgil was a good man, he misunderstood parts of virtue unlike the pagan that the eagle described and therefore, Virgil could not reach salvation and paradise. Dante the Poet includes both pagans and Christians in every realm in order to show that there are good and bad people everywhere, and anyone can reach Paradise if they are virtuous and understanding of the greater purpose in life. The argument Dante has is persuasive to many groups of people because he includes people outside of his targeted audience in order to demonstrate the universal message he
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