The Visualization Of Fortuna

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Fortune was a major theme in the time of medieval and Renaissance writers. It was usually characterized as a female figure holding a wheel which visualized the rise and fall of fortune in a man’s life. (Musa 136) Dante visualizes Fortuna as an angelic figure who guides the distribution of wealth in the living world, immune to any praise or blame from the recipients of her distribution. Similar to the way Dante does not stand by the way many of the mythological monsters found in the underworld are portrayed; he defies the traditional description of Fortuna in light of his own visualization. Fortuna is first spoken upon by Virgil as he speaks upon the setting of the canto, and almost immediately Dante enquires about Fortuna and what her influence in the world is. Dante reveals his interpretation of Fortuna putting her beside God in her distribution of wealth among the lives of men. “So light is spread with equal distribution: for worldly splendors He decreed the same and ordained a guide and general ministers who would at her discretion shift the world's vain wealth from nation to nation, house to house, with no chance of interference from mankind.” (Inferno, VII 76-81) As the sun rises and the light is spread throughout the land from one end to another, Danto describes how Fortuna is equivalent to God in spreading wealth and prosperity within the land. No mortal man can influence the decisions that Fortuna has made, in an attempt to sway the fortune from another house hold to himself. Each nation and house is allotted their fortune as Fortuna sees fit, and no one is able to escape her judgment if she decrees that she must take back the fortune she has given away. Fortuna is described as the mediator of a successful empire or th... ... middle of paper ... ...and nations grow old, new ones rise in their places and Fortuna must be present to judge them and provide what she deems enough to these people. Dante has a magnificent view on Fortuna and what her roles are within the world of man. She is omnipotent in the distribution of fortune among the nations and houses of man. No one can influence her in her decisions when it comes to spreading fortune and prosperity as she deems fit within the realm. She is more knowledgeable than anyone that is out there within the limits of spreading fortune to everyone. Dante believes her to be a magnificent angel who is sent by God to guide the spread of fortune within the world and she is the only one who is capable of this job. As Dante is adamant in his viewings of the mythological creatures found in the underworld, he is also adamant in his praise of Fortuna and what she accomplishes

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