Analysis Of ' On The Inferno ' Essay example

Analysis Of ' On The Inferno ' Essay example

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Inferno is the first and most famous of a three part series by Dante Alighieri known as the Divine Comedy that describes his journey to God through the levels of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise written in the early fourteenth century. Scholars spanning over nearly seven centuries have praised its beauty and complexity, unmatched by any other medieval poem. Patrick Hunt’s review, “On the Inferno,” states, “Dante’s extensive use of symbolism and prolific use of allegory— even in incredible anatomical detail—have been often plumbed as scholars have explored the gamut of his work’s classical, biblical, historical, and contemporary political significance” (9). In the story, each of the three main characters, Dante, Virgil, and Beatrice, represent something that transforms the poem into an allegory. Dante represents humanity; Virgil represents reason, and Beatrice represents divine love. The three characters together symbolize how humanity needs reason and divine love to escape sin and receive salvation and create the deeper meaning of the allegory.
Inferno begins with Dante lost in a dark wood. When he tries to exit, three impassible beasts blocked his path. Dante is rescued when Beatrice sends the spirit of Virgil to lead him to salvation. However, Dante must journey through hell first. Dante and Virgil then journey through the nine circles of hell, with the occasional help of a heavenly messenger sent to aid Dante in his journey. Dante meets many significant people and hears their stories in each circle. The First Circle of Hell or Limbo is resided by virtuous non-Christians and unbaptized pagans. In the Second Circle, Dante and Virgil find people who were overcome by lust. In the Third Circle, they find souls of gluttons that are see...

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... concert, result in his salvation. A love with such results can only be described as divine. To extend her representation of divine love, Charles S. Singleton, writer and critic of literature, argued in Journey to Beatrice that she is also a Christ figure (73).
Dante’s Inferno is full of metaphors and symbolism making it one of the most complex allegories in world literature. The main character represents humanity as a whole and the two guides, Virgil and Beatrice, represent reason and divine love. The walk through the dark, confusing wood represents a man or woman losing their way in life on a spiritual level. The man or woman must realize where they are and the consequences in order to use reason and divine love to walk to salvation. This epic poem is an allegory of the purification and hope for the human soul that is adored and interpreted by scholars to this day.

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