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What Does Virgil Symbolize In Dante's Inferno

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In great stories, there is always an abundance of symbolism that helps enhance the reader's view of the world and characters that will appear. Without this, the book can begin to feel bland and unrelatable. That is why it is easy to find a great abundance of symbolism in Dante’s Inferno. Throughout the entirety of Dante’s Inferno, Dante the poet uses symbolism, both in his characters and the environment, to greatly enhance how the reader views Hell. The first major example of symbolism is seen through the character Virgil as a whole. Alighieri uses Virgil to represent human reason, and as Virgil is a main character, he is seen a lot through the text as a whole and Alighieri uses him extremely well to show how humans reason through things and the limitation of reason. This is first seen in Canto 9 at the gate of Dis, when Virgil says “The marsh from which the stinking gasses bubble lies all about this capital of sorrow whose gates we may not pass now without trouble.” (Alighieri 88) This show how…show more content…
Virgil knows this, but still has hope that he can make it through without divine intervention, much like how humans hope to solve their own problems without help. Alighieri uses this to represent that human reason has its limitations, and that without some outside help, the mind’s reason can only take somebody so far. Later on in the book, Virgil starts to show anger and frustration with Dante. In canto 20, Dante begins to show pity for the Fortune tellers and Diviners. Virgil renounces him, saying “Still? Still like the other fools? There is no place for pity here. Who is more arrogant within his soul, who is more impious than on who dares to sorrow at God’s judgment? (Alighieri 175) This quote is Virgil’s way of telling Dante to stop showing pity for
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