My Account
Preview
Preview

Essay on Morality in Dante’s Inferno, Hamlet, The Trial, and Joyce’s The Dead

:: 7 Works Cited
Length: 2804 words (8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Green      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Changing Morality in Dante’s Inferno, Hamlet, The Trial, and Joyce’s The Dead  

 
    Everyone remembers the nasty villains that terrorize the happy people in fairy tales. Indeed, many of these fairy tales are defined by their clearly defined good and bad archetypes, using clichéd physical stereotypes. What is noteworthy is that these fairy tales are predominately either old themselves or based on stories of antiquity. Modern stories and epics do not offer these clear definitions; they force the reader to continually redefine the definitions of morality to the hero that is not fully good and the villain that is not so despicable. From Dante’s Inferno, through the winding mental visions in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, spiraling through the labyrinth in Kafka’s The Trial, and culminating in Joyce’s abstract realization of morality in “The Dead,” authors grapple with this development. In the literary progression to the modern world, the increasing abstraction of evil from its classic archetype to a foreign, supernatural entity without bounds or cure is strongly suggestive of the pugnacious assault on individualism in the face of literature’s dualistic, thematically oligopolistic heritage.

In analyzing this gradient of morality, it is useful first to examine a work from early literature whose strong purity of morality is unwavering; for the purposes of this discussion, Dante’s Inferno provides this model. It is fairly straightforward to discover Dante’s dualistic construction of morality in his winding caverns of Hell; each stern, finite circle of Hell is associated with a clear sin that is both definable and directly punishable. As Dante moves downwards in this moral machination, he notes that

Like lies with like in every h...


... middle of paper ...


...akespearean Criticism. Ed. Laurie Lanzen Harris. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1984. 234-7.


Fort, Keith. “The Function of Style in Franz Kafka’s ‘The Trial’.” Sewanee Review 72 (1964): 643-51. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Dennis Poupard and Paula Kepos. Vol. 29. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1988. 198-200.


Joyce, James. Dubliners. Ed. Robert Scholes. New York, Penguin/Viking, 1996.
 

Kafka, Franz. The Trial. Trans. Willa and Edwin Muir. New York: Schocken Books, 1992.
 

Ruskin, John. “Grotesque Renaissance.” The Stones of Venice: The Fall. 1853. New York: Garland Publishing, 1979. 112-65. Rpt. in Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism. Ed. Jelena O. Krstovic. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1989. 21-2.


Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. T. J. B. Spencer. New York: Penguin, 1996.
 
 

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Finding Morality and Unity with God in Dante's Inferno Essay - Finding Morality and Unity with God in Dante's Inferno Throughout the fast-paced lives of people, we are constantly making choices that shape who we are, as well as the world around us; however, one often debates the manner in which one should come to correct moral decisions, and achieve a virtuous existence. Dante has an uncanny ability to represent with such precision, the trials of the everyman’s soul to achieve morality and find unity with God, while setting forth the beauty, humor, and horror of human life....   [tags: Alighieri Biography Dante's Inferno Essays] 1404 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Role and Function of the Major Monsters in Dante’s Inferno - In Dante’s Inferno, throughout the epic journey of the character Dante into the depth of Hell, he encounters a number of beasts and monsters as he passes along the way, especially through the seven stations of the greatest monsters of Hell. The most significant of these seven major monsters is of central importance to the character Dante’s journey as well as to the narrative, for these monsters not only challenge the presence of the character Dante in Hell, but they are also the important custodians of Hell....   [tags: Dante’s Inferno Essays] 1944 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Contrapasso of Caiaphas in Dante's Inferno Essay - In Canto XXIII of Dante's Inferno, the hypocrites, especially Caiaphas, provide an excellent example of Divine Justice as contrapasso. The hypocrites presented their ideas as pure and good, while in reality, they did not act according to their supposed morality or practice the virtues that they preached. Because in life, the hypocrites said one thing and did another, their heavy garments seem one thing and are, yet another. The ornate priestly robes worn by the hypocrites are beautiful and impressive on the outside, but are in reality leaden instruments of torture....   [tags: divine justice, dante's inferno, hypocrites]
:: 1 Works Cited
536 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Outside Influences on Dante’s Inferno Essay - Anyone who has read Dante’s Inferno is familiar with a certain main character, Virgil. Who is this Virgil that Dante put in his book and where did Dante get the idea of having Virgil as his guide on Dante’s journey through the spirit world. In addition to Virgil, readers of Inferno are also familiar with concepts and characters such as God, angles, demons, Satan, and Hell. Where did Dante get these concepts. Dante did not come up with these ideas on his own, but used familiar characters and places from outside sources such as the Aeneid and the Bible to create his epic poem....   [tags: Dante's Inferno Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
839 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Hamlet's Anger and Morality in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay - Hamlet's Anger and Morality in William Shakespeare's Hamlet In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet is faced with emotional and physical hardship. The suffering that he endures causes his character to develop certain idiosyncrasies. Morality has a significant importance to Hamlet. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet possesses a strong sense of morality. A sense that is stronger than all other characters. Hamlet's actions and feelings are controlled by his morality. His morality grows weaker as the play progresses....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Essays Papers]
:: 3 Works Cited
1538 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Mortality in "Hamlet" Essay - “So shall you hear of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, of accidental judgements, casual slaughters, of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause”, (Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2, Lines 381-384). Horatio, best friend of Prince Hamlet, says this in the final lines of the play. He says this after Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, Hamlet, Claudius, King of Denmark, and Laertes, son of Polonius all die in the battle between Hamlet and Laertes. Hamlet, King of Denmark, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, former friends of Hamlet, Polonius, councillor to the King, and Ophelia, daughter of Polonius are also dead....   [tags: Shakespearean Literature]
:: 3 Works Cited
579 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Dante's Motivation to Write The Divine Comedy Essay example - Dante's Motivation to Write The Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia) To truly comprehend Dante’s Divine Comedy, although complete comprehension is not necessary to enjoy this literary masterpiece, there are several skills one might need to acquire. For instance, one helpful piece of knowledge would be the ability to fluently speak Italian, since the many translations differ being able to have read Dante’s actual written words and understand them would make reading the Divine Comedy a bit more personal and therefore easier to understand....   [tags: Dante Alighieri Dante's Inferno] 3221 words
(9.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Virgil and Dante Essay example - Virgil and Dante In the note to Canto V regarding Francesca and Paulo, the Hollanders exclaim that “Sympathy for the damned, in the Inferno, is nearly always and nearly certainly the sign of a wavering moral disposition” (112). Indeed, many of the touching, emotional, or indignation rousing tales told by the souls in Hell can evoke pity, but in the telling of the tales, it is always possible to derive the reasons for the damned souls’ placement in Hell. However, there is a knee-jerk reaction to separate Virgil and, arguably, some of the other souls in limbo from this group of the damned, though, with careful perusal of the text, the thoughtful reader can discern the machinations behind the...   [tags: Virgil Dante Inferno Essays] 1904 words
(5.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Allegory of the Cave and Dante Essay - The Allegory of the Cave and Dante “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.” This maxim applies to the poet Dante Alighieri, writer of The Inferno in the 1300s, because it asserts the need to establish oneself as a contributor to society. Indeed, Dante’s work contributes much to Renaissance Italy as his work is the first of its scope and size to be written in the vernacular. Due to its readability and availability, The Inferno is a nationalistic symbol....   [tags: Plato Allegory Cave Dante Essays] 1237 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Dante's Inferno Essay example - Dante's Inferno It was sometime in the middle of the 17th century that British cleric Thomas Fuller wrote, "He that falls into sin is a man; that grieves at it, is a saint; that boasteth of it, is a devil." If Fuller was right, where does one place Dante, the pilgrim who bravely wandered where no man had wandered before. Certainly, the sojourner precisely written by the poet of the same name was a man. Certainly, also, he repented his sinful ways (how could one not after braving not only the depths of Hell but later the stretches of Purgatory and the "many waters" of Heaven?), but he was no saint....   [tags: Dante Inferno Essays] 867 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]