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Thematicism In Dante's Inferno

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Dante’s Inferno, written in the fourteenth century by Dante Alighieri is an epic poem, a part of the Divine Comedy split into three separate parts that depicts Dante, as himself, and his “death” by exile and rebirth by traveling through hell, purgatory and then heaven. Dante’s poem is special because it was written to be interpreted in many ways that each reveal a certain truth. This paper will focus mainly on Dante’s Inferno, the depiction of hell, but does not exclude ideas from Purgatario, and Paradiso. The author thematically presents Hell as a state of stasis and this paper will psychoanalyze the character Dante and his experiences which will ultimately reveal how escaping hell brought Dante back to the same point in time, ultimately proving that hell is a stagnant state of mind.
The state of Hell thematically represents a state of spiritual stagnation that bound whoever entered. In the beginning of the poem Dante’ is initially trapped in the “midway point of his life” (Inf I, 1). A midway point can also be seen as a turning point it is important to understand where the story begins, because it holds importance. At this midway point Dante is encountered by three demons that ultimately scare him to his path of entrapment. Here Alighieri uses words such as “impeded, barred the way” (Inf I, 35) that ultimately sets the tone for the reader as Dante decides to enter into the trap of hell.
As Dante descends into the darkness of hell, Alighieri continues to emphasize Dante’s ensuing entrapment and immobilization. Alighieri writes “As little flowers, bent and closed, with the chill of the night…. such, in my failing strength did I become” (Inf II, 126-130). Here Alighieri compares flowers at night to Dante, “bending and closing” ...

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...od of time, and in fact he wasn’t almost no time past at all. The day did not change, that is why its position barely moved. The second passage also represents this because “once more” they see the stars. This makes it extremely plausible that little time has passed.
Dante entered into a state of hell, a period of near entrapment and he was almost frozen without escape. He was stuck in his ways, unchanging as a sinner which enforced the theme of stasis. Hell was a period of stagnancy, an eternal continuity of unchanging sin. Dante’s journey through hell, was a journey through his mind and his innermost thoughts. Like a dream like state Dante’ explored his consciousness. Dante’s escape brought him back to the same place he left from, enforcing the idea, that Hell is not a physical place, but an immobile state of mind which refuses to change its sins for the better.
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