Dante’s Devine Comedy: Inferno Canto XXVI Essay

Dante’s Devine Comedy: Inferno Canto XXVI Essay

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Of the Medieval Texts, Dante’s Inferno, gives readers insight into a poetically described version of Hell that is full of punishment and evil. Dante travels through purgatory speaking with various shades as well as converses with his guide to gain insight on the follies of man. Each Canto describes certain characters and their reasons for being stuck in Hell. Through analysis of the text as well as support from literature written by Sara Sturm, R Bates, and lastly EM Hood, Canto XXVI not only provides insight on Dante’s political beliefs, but also describes the eventual demise of false counselors, as well as those whom are not grateful for their God-Given gifts.
First, Dante Alighieri utilizes Canto XXVI to further describe his political beliefs and agenda to his readers. The introduction paragraph of Canto XXVI likens the eighth circle, for which Dante has described previously, to his native city Florence. Dante writes, “be joyous Florence, you are great indeed, for over sea and land you beat your wings; through every part of Hell your named extends!” which is a direct mockery towards his hometown Florence (Inferno XXVI 1-3). Dante is agreeing with the fact that Florence is one of the greatest cities however claims that some of her success is due to evil being cultivated in the city. Florence is such a successful city so much that it is even famous in Hell albeit for the wrong reasons. The previous canto, XXV, gives a description of the eighth circle, which is reserved for thieves. Dante continues his analysis of the eighth circle, and claims that “among thieves I found five citizens of yours [Florence] – and such, that shame has taken me; with them you can ascend to no high honor” (Inf. XXVI. 4-6). The last few lines of Dant...


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...humble, eventually leads to an unfruitful life and death filled with regrets.



Works Cited

Bates, Richard. "Dante's Ulysses and the Epistle of James." Dante Studies, with the Annual Report of the Dante Society 107 (1989): 33-44. Print.

Dante, Alighieri, Allen Mandelbaum, and Barry Moser. The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri Inferno, a Verse Translation. New York: Bantam, 2004. Print.

Homer, Allen Mandelbaum, and Romans Maria Luisa. De. The Odyssey of Homer: a New Verse Translation. Berkeley: University of California, 1990. Print.

Hood, Edward. "The Condition of Ulysses: Expansions and Contractions in Canto XXVI of the "Inferno"" Annual Reports of the Dante Society, with Accompanying Papers 81 (1963): 1-17. Print.

Sturm, Sara. "Structure and Meaning in Inferno XXVI." Dante Studies, with the Annual Report of the Dante Society 92 (1974): 93-106. Print.

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