Violence In Dante Alighieri: A Poet As A Madman

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According to English writer, A. N. Wilson, in his article, ‘Dante in Love’, argues that Dante Alighieri is a poet as well as a madman. Wilson elaborates on Leonardo Bruni’s two contrasting distinctions that define a poet, one being that in which Dante, according to Bruni and Wilson himself, fits being a poet of a scholarly background. The justification of Dante being portrayed as a madman alone will be established through the violence acted out throughout Inferno and the relationship found between the author, Dante’s, madness and the notion of malicious intent.
According to (Wilson 2011), Dante Alighieri, the author of the Divine Comedy, is a man whom possessed characteristics of both a poet and a madman. Wilson briefly emphasises in, ‘Dante in Love’, the two contrasting depictions from Leonardo Bruni and Giovanni Boccaccio, of whom Dante was with regards to the role that he played within the Florentine society and how it influenced him as a poet through his own work. (Sayers, Introduction 1949), asserts that the ‘Divine Comedy’ is an allegorical poem, influenced by, “Dante’s theological, political and personal background”, which in turn influenced the nature of the poem as a whole.
(Wilson 2011), asserts fifteenth
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The violence is present through the punishments of the sinners in the form of a set procedure as Dante allowed in the ‘state of nature’ found in Hell alone (Wilson 2011). The theme of violence is not only evident within the seventh circle of Hell (the souls whom committed acts of violence on earth), but rather through the contrapasso of the punishments throughout the poem itself. The ‘contrapasso’ in accordance with Dante’s Inferno is a process, “either resembling or contrasting with the sin itself” (Musa 1984). The contrapasso allows for the soul not to enjoy the good, “that it has rejected” (Sayers, Dante The Divine Comedy 1: Hell
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