Dante Alighieri is known for writing one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time, called The Divine Comedy. In the Divine Comedy, there are three poems: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. All three of these books are allegories. His most famous poem is the Inferno. In the Inferno, we follow Dante himself, and his guide, Virgil, through the nine levels of Hell. What I wanted to talk about is the use of allegory, and Dante’s Impact.
Let 's start off with The Divine Comedy itself. In its entirety, it stands for the quest of human life. However, there are so many more symbols in the poem. In the Inferno, all the characters are symbolic for something. For example, Virgil represents human reason, while Dante represents Us. With each level of hell, they have a guardian, usually an important figure who committed the sin that the level of hell stands for.
What really intrigues me about Dante 's use of symbolic retribution, is how he applies it to the punishment of the sinner, and the environment surrounding the level of hell. In circle two of hell, you find the Carnals. These are the people who abandon themselves to their passions. As a result of their sin, they are whirled around in a tornado that symbolizes their abandonment to their passion. Circle three you have the Gluttons. The guard of this level is Cerberus, a three headed dog, who salivates over all the sinners, and then tears them apart. The environment in this level looks like a garbage dump, to stand for all the garbage the gluttons created. The weather is always rainy and snowy. This creates slush which then mixes with the mud on the ground. To make matters worse, the sinners have to lie down in this mess!
The Heretics, people who did violence to God...
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...nce the people he included are very eclectic. Some even being important role models in his life.
Because of the success received from The Inferno, and the fact that there is not a solid description of Hell itself, many people adapted Dante’s visions and descriptions of Hell and incorporated it into Christianity and modern day society. This includes: Hells appearance, the types of sins, and what punishments you get from sinning. So all of the stereotypical visions you see where Hell is represented, is what was included in Dante’s work. It not only had an affect on religions, its had an effect on art and literature also. He’s inspired other authors to write not only about biblical ideologies, but to include your own interpretation and ideas about it too. For art, these decriptions of Hell inspired many artists to create their own images using Dante’s interpretations.
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