Virgil And Dantes Inferno

1238 Words5 Pages

Tyler Sutter
Professor Harter
27 October 2015
Topic #6
In Dante’s poem, The Divine Comedy Volume 1: Inferno, the two main characters are Dante and Virgil. Dante is a sinner who is still alive and is basically taking a tour into Hell. Virgil on the other hand, is a “shade”, or ghost that is stuck in limbo because he lived before Christ and therefore couldn’t participate in Christian faith. Limbo is the no mans land in hell so to speak. The souls stuck in limbo are non-sinners but the fact that they did not participate in the Christian faith leaves them stuck in limbo. Throughout the poem Virgil is Dante’s guide through the inferno and plays the super-ego role in the relationship and Dante is the sinful follower that plays the ego role. …show more content…

Dante is clearly the ego, while Virgil is clearly the super-ego. As the ego, Dante’s sinful thoughts eventually led to sinful actions, which in turn led to Virgil’s intervention. Also, Dante chooses to complete the journey through hell because he wants more than anything to rid himself of his sins. When Dante has sinful thoughts, which results in sinful actions, Virgil is quick to intervene. Dante elects to complete this journey through hell because he wants to rid himself of his sins and get a new chance with God. This directly portrays the egos attempt to avoid guilt and suffering and pursue individual happiness. Virgil is a great representation of the super-ego, and makes it clear with his “watchdog” tendencies, just as when he steps in and protects Dante from Medusa. For instance, the super-ego forces the ego to recognize failures, which causes guilt. On the other hand, the ego is given a better understanding of what it has done wrong, and is more easily able to fix it so it doesn’t happen again. Virgil plays this role in the way that he confronts Dante about the sinful life he lived, and then takes him through hell, allowing him to see what he may become if he fixes it through this

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