Essay on Comparative Analysis Of Dante's Inferno And Purgatorio

Essay on Comparative Analysis Of Dante's Inferno And Purgatorio

Length: 2919 words (8.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Divine Comedy (The Inferno and Purgatorio, in this matter) without Virgil would be like coffee without cream. Without Virgil, Dante would never have completed his journey. Without reason, Dante would never have the courage to go through his redemption.
     We meet Virgil in the Inferno just when Dante begins to lose all hope in going through that “shadowed forest.” Beatrice has appointed him to guide our hero through hell and then through Purgatory. Himself being in Limbo, Virgil knew the nooks and crannies of hell. His knowledge would then profit Dante in his perilous journey.
     On the allegorical level, however, Virgil represents reason. Dante, on the other hand, is the personification of every man. Every human person is a sinner. In order to obtain forgiveness and salvation, every person needs reason to acknowledge the nature of sin, and how it goes against God’s love and His divine plan for everyone. As we all learned in our very extensive theology classes, the way to salvation is through reason enlightened by faith. Beatrice, whom we meet in Purgatorio, embodies faith.
     The role of Virgil in both books is not always the same. The character of Virgil in the Inferno is more confident and reassured than he was in Purgatorio, wherein he is often insecure and uncertain.
     The Divine Comedy could be read from many different angles. One could take in everything at face value, judging the book as just another piece of fine poetry. On the other hand, there is more to what the lines actually say. Underneath the story, one finds a richness of symbolism and metaphors which reflects each and everyone’s spiritual lives. This paper is divided into four parts. The first part is the literal sense of the Inferno, the second, the allegorical, the third is the literal meaning of the Purgatorio, and finally followed by its allegorical sense.
     Virgil in the Inferno is the “head honcho.” He knows where to go, who to talk to, and what to do. His confidence is something to be admired.
     As Virgil and Dante embark on their journeys in Canto I of the Inferno, Virgil is cool, calm, and collected. When he sees Dante, he immediately takes charge:
     “…I think it best for you
 &nbs...


... middle of paper ...


...atorio because man’s reason supports his faith. Blind faith would be just as dangerous as blind reason. There should be reason but enlightened by faith. Reason equips man with the knowledge of the natural law. Love, freewill, responsibility, and prayer are facilitated by reason. These virtues and actions would not amount to anything without reason.
     We might say that the Inferno and the Purgatorio are veritable theology lessons. Both teaches the reader the requirements of a life of grace. In order to attain salvation and reach the earthly paradise, we must be cleansed of our sins. Cleansing makes it imperative for us to be truly contrite. We must sincerely be remorseful for our sins, not because we fear the punishments, but because we have offended God, who is all-Good. Once cleansed, we must lead a life of grace. Reason enlightened by faith is a primary factor in this life of grace. Living in the footsteps of Christ requires the use of reason to discern the good from evil. It requires faith to light up the path where Christ has walked. Only when we are furnished with the right use of reason and faith are we ready to (like Dante), climb onto the stars.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Inferno, The Purgatorio, And The Paradiso Essay

- The Divine Comedy is a poetic Italian masterpiece by Dante Alighieri composed of three parts which he called respectively: The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso. As this edition’s translator, John Ciardi puts it, originally Dante simply entitled his works as The Comedy, however, in later years, it was renamed The Divine Comedy for the connections that the public saw it had with human behavior and morality (Ciardi, 2003). For the goals and purposes of this review, we will focus specifically on the portion of the book called The Inferno....   [tags: Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri]

Powerful Essays
1820 words (5.2 pages)

Essay about Divine Comedy By Dante Alghieri

- 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....   [tags: Divine Comedy, Inferno, Purgatorio]

Powerful Essays
1488 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about The Comparison of Dante's Inferno and the Purgatorio

- The Comparison of Dante's Inferno and the Purgatorio There are many differences in the Inferno and the Purgatorio of Dante Alghieri, from the differences in atmosphere and attitude, darkness and light, between sins and their punishments as well as the characters of the Comedy. My purpose is to shed light on what I found to be interesting differences of the two. I would like to begin with the comparison of the coming of the old men in both the Inferno and the Purgatorio. In the Inferno it starts by saying: And Lo....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
906 words (2.6 pages)

Dante's Relationships In Dante And His Guide, Dante Essay

- Dante And His Guide, Virgil Thesis- Dante and Virgil have an interesting relationship that changes throughout Dante’s Inferno. They started off very different and Virgil didn’t care much for Dante. Dante looked at Virgil differently after he had heard Beatrice sent him to guide him. Throughout their travels, their relationship changed as they went through every layer of hell. Something happened in each one that changed their relationship either drastically, or barely at all. Their travels are very intriguing and their relationship is very complex....   [tags: Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Virgil]

Powerful Essays
716 words (2 pages)

Comparative Analysis of Local and Imported Mobile Phones Essay

- Comparative Analysis Between Local and Imported Mobile Phones in Terms of Feature and Functionality Mobile phones are abounded in the Philippines. Nowadays, most Filipinos, rich or poor, are hooked in mobile phones. Over the years, mobile phones have evolved and as of today, they have spectacular features that are useful to its users. Mobile phones become very essential to its users because it combines different features in one gadget only. Radio, camera, music player, television and other wonderful features were added by the phone makers to a typical texting phone making the mobile phone an all around gadget....   [tags: comparative analysis, feature, fuctionality]

Free Essays
1859 words (5.3 pages)

Essay Dialectoc Composition In Purgatorio V

- Dialectoc Composition In Purgatorio V In this canto there appear to be none of those cruces on which contemporary criticism often fastens as basic for the understanding of the poem's deeper meaning. It nevertheless contains some of the most vivid episodes of the journey, especially in its second part, involving the stories of three memorable characters. As is characteristic of the whole cantica, and is especially evident in the first cantos, we find that the three souls we meet here are, by the very definition of their realm, in a liminal state between two forms of existence, the earthly and the celestial....   [tags: Purgatorio V Poem Poetic Essays]

Free Essays
4350 words (12.4 pages)

Analysis Of Dante 's ' Dante The Pilgrim ' Essay

- In Dante’s Commedia, Dante the pilgrim travels through all the layers of Hell, then Purgatory, and finally Paradise. Throughout his journey, he learns of all the things that can earn a person a spot in Hell, and attempts to learn how to change who he is in order to avoid the same fate for himself in his life. Dante mainly works his way through the Seven Deadly Sins, which are all damning, although only if they are present in excess. Dante, however, believes that there are some sins that are worse than the others....   [tags: Seven deadly sins, Pride, Sin, Purgatorio]

Powerful Essays
1190 words (3.4 pages)

The Inferno By Dante Alighieri Essay

- Hell, it isn 't a place where anyone really wants to end up, well permanently that is. Dante Alighieri however really enjoys taking a “trip” to hell to teach us and enlighten us on the ins and outs and where exactly all the sinners end up. Alighieri tackles this daunting task of making all of hell fit into a small pocket-able, yet very enjoyable story by using a variety of literary styles and devices. However, let’s take a look at one specifically, symbolism. This is one of the most prevalent and obvious device, but it is the most important because it not only makes the story easier for the reader to understand, as well as make the book as enjoyable as it was....   [tags: Divine Comedy, Inferno, Dante Alighieri]

Powerful Essays
1259 words (3.6 pages)

Analysis of the Inferno of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy Essay

- Analysis of the Inferno of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is considered by many as the first great poem in the Italian language and perhaps the greatest poem written in Medieval Europe. The poem is so famous that one of the minor characters, Capaneus the great blasphemer, has his name on a mesa on one of Jupiter's moon Io (Blue, 1). Also, the poem is divided into three canticles, or sections, "Inferno," "Purgatorio,' and "Paradisio." For the purposes of this paper, only "Inferno" will be discussed....   [tags: Inferno Dante Alighieri Divine Comedy]

Powerful Essays
1225 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about Purgatorio

- Purgatorio Perhaps the best place to begin a consideration of Purgatorio is not its beginning but its middle. In cantos 16-18, the central three of this the central canticle, we learn about love and free will, perhaps the two principles most important to an understanding of the whole of the Comedy. Because our modern novelistic tradition of structure has led us to expect our plots to be arranged climactically, we tend to find this kind of geometric construction artificial and surprising, even though the practice was fairly common in medieval literature....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
4420 words (12.6 pages)