Symbolism In The Divine Comedy By Dante Alghieri

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Divine Comedy by Dante Alghieri, an Italian poet who lived the 16th century, is an epic poem written with much three canticles. Each canticle contains 33 Cantos – Inferno, Paradiso, and Purgatorio. Written in Terza Rima format – which is a poem that utilizes three lines rhyme - it is a story that depicts different subjects such as religion, politics, and the life story of the writer. The middle line has a different sound, however rhymes with the first and third line of the next stanza. The poem is also an allegory, which means that it has hidden meanings and uses symbolism instead of being direct. Arguably, Divine Comedy was written with much complexity and depth. The purpose of this research paper is to explore the symbolism embedded in the…show more content…
There are many issues in Inferno that are as significant today as they were when Dante wrote his comedy. Although some views discussed are not common to everyone, such views are still evident in today’s current society. Even in today’s world, many people go through a journey just like the one Dante describes. Jester Hede writes Reading Dante: The Pursuit of Meaning. In his analysis of Dante’s Inferno, he has come to the conclusion that even though this comedy was written in the 16th century, “Inferno can still make a convincing case as a book of this world, because the sins and crimes it narrates appear to be right out of our own world.” (Hede, 164) The same sins worthy of hell in Dante’s time are still considered sins by some people today. They are very relevant to the modern world views on…show more content…
Here he finds those who “In their first life… could not judge with moderation when it comes to spending.” (The Norton Anthology, p 1075). Dante tells his guide that he understands greed as a sin, and even tells him that he might recognize a soul from the time he was still alive. His teacher replies with “their undistinguished life that made them foul now makes it harder to distinguish them.” (The Norton Anthology, p 1075). This line is important because as Dante goes lower into hell, the soul becomes less and less easier to recognize. They have become so misshaped from the type of sin they have committed. The greedy souls can be interpreted as, now, in our modern times, those who are thieves. They are those who have stolen from others to quench their thirst for achieving materialistic gains. They are the wealthy CEOs and businessmen who have worshipped money instead of living ethical and honest lives. Also, in this circle of Hell, those who fought others, “the souls of those that anger overcame” (The Norton Anthology, p 1076). The importance of this is that the fact that Dante saw thieves and those who are violent in the same category of sinners. To him, both types of sinners have no regards and respect to others. They are hurtful and both destructive. In Canto XI, Dante explains how the sins are grouped together. He states that those who belong in the first circle of Hell are those who have three conditions:

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