William Bouguerau's Dante and Virgil in Hell (1850)

William Bouguerau's Dante and Virgil in Hell (1850)

Length: 1303 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
William Bouguerau's Dante and Virgil in Hell (1850)



After viewing William Bouguerau's, Dante and Virgil in Hell, I began a quest to gain a greater understanding of the religious meaning to life, and in particular more meaning to my life. Bouguerau's powerful depiction initially left me with curiosity about Dante's Devine Comedy. I read Dante with fascination and a burning desire to learn more about Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam. Like a maddening and irresistible brain teaser I puzzle over these great religions and I am left with more questions than answers. I feel that I could never obtain total knowledge of God, but I thirst for as much knowledge about "him" as could be revealed in an effort to enrich my life.

I first saw William Bouguerau's, Dante and Virgil in Hell, while doing a Google search for images to include in a hate e-mail to a former boyfriend. In studying the captivating images of two powerful men tearing themselves apart in a fight to the death, I experienced what I will call an epiphany. It is hard for me to pin point exactly how it happened. I began to think about the trouble in the Middle East. The war in Iraq, the fighting in Israel and Lebanon, the continued hostilities in Afghanistan, the bombing of the World Trade Center, caused me to think about the death, misery and suffering caused by powerful men fighting. It made no sense to me. Inextricably I was drawn to read the book written by Dante, the Devine Comedy, for which this picture was painted.

Dante Alighieri in 1306 wrote the Devine Comedy. Essentially, the book is about Dante Pilgrim who had not lived a particularly pious life. Beatrice, Dante's deceased girl friend asks the Virgin Mary to help him see the error of his ways. Mary Accepts and Dante is sent on a tour through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. In the beginning he is spiritually lost. His guide through Hell and Purgatory is Virgil (pictured above). In Hell they meet various sinners: the violent, the panderers, the simoniacs, the fortune tellers, the grafters, the hypocrites, the thieves, the evil counselors, the sowers of discord, the falsifiers, the treacherous and the gluttonous. Dante learns to despise sin. Beatrice takes him to heaven where he is introduced to God by St.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"William Bouguerau's Dante and Virgil in Hell (1850)." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=161233>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Fugitive Slave Law Of 1850 Essay

- The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 helped usher in a major shift in American political feelings and attitudes. The controversy at the root of the law helped to shape the course of American politics for the rest of the century and dictate the course America would take. Its importance in America history is one that is very frequently forgotten and looked past, but when one takes the time to notice its impact on the country as a whole they can see just how important this single law was. The Compromise of 1850 brought about a large number of new laws or acts that effected America as a whole....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Compromise of 1850]

Research Papers
1146 words (3.3 pages)

The Compromise Of 1850 As A Free State Essay

- The Compromise of 1850 was successful in the sense that it solved some crises and delayed the outbreak of war. On the surface, the admission of California was the incident that sparked the conflict. Admitting California as a free state would destroy the delicate sectional balance that was crucial to the South. The compromise solved this problem by allowing California to come into the Union as a free state, but the people of New Mexico and Utah would have the right to decide by popular sovereignty whether they would be free or in slavery....   [tags: Compromise of 1850, Slavery in the United States]

Research Papers
730 words (2.1 pages)

The Aeneid, By Virgil Essay

- Throughout the Aeneid, Virgil uses a variety of literary tools to further the values and reforms Augustus Caesar initiated, particularly social and religious ones. Through descriptive passages about the epic’s protagonist, Aeneas, the author enables his audience to compare the Trojan leader to their own contemporary emperor, examining the virtues of both men and their relationship with the gods. The Aeneid is in itself a cultural and artistic monument, Virgil’s chef d’oeuvre that speaks to the social, cultural, and political changes that occurred in his time....   [tags: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Virgil, Julius Caesar]

Research Papers
1835 words (5.2 pages)

The Compromise of 1850 Favored the North Over the South Essay examples

- “I would rather be right than be President,” stated Senator Henry Clay concerning the issue of finding a resolution for the countries burning issue during the mid 1800s. Even though Clay lost the presidential election of 1849 to Zachary Taylor, he was determined to find a solution to America’s prevailing debate of whether or not to extend slavery into their new territories. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had officially ended the war with Mexico and political warfare in the Unite States was a rising issue....   [tags: Compromise of 1850]

Research Papers
1369 words (3.9 pages)

Virgil's Purpose in the Divine Comedy Essay

- It is difficult to determine the true nature of Virgil in Dante's Commedia. At times, he grants incredible advice that parallels the wisdom of some early church fathers, and other times he shows no expertise in any situation, to the point of conferring entirely misinformed counsel. This disparity is confusing mainly because Virgil looked like he would be an infallible guide at the beginning of the Divine Comedy. Yet there are plenty of occurrences confirming Virgil's shortcomings beyond doubt. So what is Dante trying to convey in Virgil's personage....   [tags: Virgil in Dante's Commedia, Literry Analysis]

Research Papers
1745 words (5 pages)

The Virgil 's The Aeneid Essay

- Virgil’s The Aeneid is a series of books mainly about a man named Aeneas who has fled his home city of Troy. In book I, Aeneas and some fellow Trojans arrive at the city of Carthage with help from the gods. In Book IV, Aeneas and Dido, the queen of Carthage, fall in love. Aeneas must leave Dido to lead his comrades to Italy, and Dido is devastated that he chooses to leave her. Some readers of The Aeneid believe that Dido is a stereotypical damsel in distress dependent on a man. Others, however see Dido differently since she ruled over Carthage, and her love for Aeneas was caused by the gods....   [tags: Dido, Aeneid, Virgil, Love]

Research Papers
1402 words (4 pages)

Virgil and Dante Essay example

- Virgil and Dante In the note to Canto V regarding Francesca and Paulo, the Hollanders exclaim that “Sympathy for the damned, in the Inferno, is nearly always and nearly certainly the sign of a wavering moral disposition” (112). Indeed, many of the touching, emotional, or indignation rousing tales told by the souls in Hell can evoke pity, but in the telling of the tales, it is always possible to derive the reasons for the damned souls’ placement in Hell. However, there is a knee-jerk reaction to separate Virgil and, arguably, some of the other souls in limbo from this group of the damned, though, with careful perusal of the text, the thoughtful reader can discern the machinations behind the...   [tags: Virgil Dante Inferno Essays]

Research Papers
1904 words (5.4 pages)

Virgil's The Aeneid Essay

- Virgil's The Aeneid      In Webster’s dictionary, a leader is defined as a person that has commanding authority or influence over others. Such a leader can be found in The Aeneid, written by Virgil. The main character in the epic, Aeneas, shows the journey of a leader through struggles and trials. One can see the true definition of leadership through Aeneas’s strategy, bravery, and persistence.      During the Fall of Troy, Aeneas shows strategic leadership while pushing through the Greek lines....   [tags: Virgil Aeneid Essays]

Research Papers
476 words (1.4 pages)

Essay on Culture Analysis: Virgil

- Culture Analysis Paper 3: Virgil Profile: Within the selected reading, there are quite a few major and minor characters, those most notable being : Juno (Mack 473), Aeneas (Mack 475), Venus (Mack 475), Jupiter (Mack 478), Ascanius (Mack 479), Dido (Mack 477), Achatës (Mack 478), Ulysses (Mack 483), Minerva (Mack 490), Laocoön (Mack 490), Sinon (Mack 485), Hector (Mack 491), Pyrrhus (Mack 498), Priam (Mack 476), Anchises (Mack 504), Anna (Mack 508), Mercury (Mack 512), Deiphobë (Mack 529), Turnus (Mack 537) , Diomedes (Mack 477), Vulcan (Mack 536), Pallas (Mack 477), and Juturna (Mack 541) ....   [tags: Aeneid Virgil Analysis]

Free Essays
1904 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on Virgil’s Aeneid

- Virgil’s Aeneid In literature, the feats of a main character are defined by the sacrifices he/she makes with respect to those he/she holds dear. In this way, loved ones are woven into the story to give perspective; they multiply the joys as well as the sorrows, allowing the protagonist to experience a wide range of emotions. In Virgil’s Aeneid, an epic narrative about the legendary founding of Rome, Dido is present to strengthen the character of the protagonist, Aeneas. Many tragedies befall her throughout the work, especially in Book IV, which initially evoke sympathy in the reader....   [tags: Virgil Aeneid Essays]

Research Papers
1387 words (4 pages)

Bernard.

When I read Dante's words, "May God so grant you, reader to find fruit In your reading: now ponder for yourself..." (Inferno XX. 19-20) it hit me. Along with the disappearance of God in my generation there also was the disappearance of the Devil. From rock albums to clothing many of the symbols Dante used have become impotent. Dante communicates to us that these demons are the progeny of the black hole of the human heart, from the dense rugged terrain of lost spiritual purpose, from the center where ice has formed in love for one another and God. Up until this point in my life I never noticed the absence. I received no formal religious training. My mother is a mix of a little Lutheran and more Catholic. My father is a mix of Lutheran and Jewish. Neither one regularly brought me to religious services. I felt lost spiritually.

To make up for lost time I began cramming for religion like an unprepared student cramming for a final exam. I read the King James version of the Bible from cover to cover. It left me with more questions than answers. Abraham says his God is the God of the Canaanites, but they worshipped Marduk. Abrahams God would sit and commune with him. The God of Moses was an angry god whose face you could not look upon. Was God a partisan God that killed any nation opposed to the Israelites? i.e., the drowning of the Egyptians during the Exodous (couldn't God think of a better way to help them escape). Was he a God that demanded Blood sacrifice? Why would he tell Abraham to kill his son? Why would God condemn his own son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross? (Couldn't Jesus live to a ripe old age and still benefit us?) Where does the Holy Ghost come in? If god is all almighty, all knowing, holy true and just, then why does he allow people to commit shameful and horrid atrocities against other men women and children. Why does he allow sickness to claim the lives of innocent children? The Bible did not arrive in an e-mail from God, how can we ever claim to know all there is to know about God? Is God really a disinterested being that is indifferent to his creation, or is every event in our lives foretold? I then tried to read the Koran. The Koran's early verses try to encourage awareness of God's benevolence. They encourage people to realize how many things they still owe him, despite their successes, and appreciate their utter dependency upon the Creator of the Natural order. "only too often man destroys himself: how stubbornly does he deny the truth. The Koran does not attempt to teach anything new, but serves as a constant "reminder" of things already known. Many verses begin with a phrase "Have you not seen …?" or "Have you not considered…?" The Koran makes al-Lah more impersonal than YHWH (God of Moses), he lacks passion of the biblical God. We can only glimpse him by looking for signs (ayat) of nature, and so transcendent is he that we can only talk about him in parables. In reading the Vedante, a compilation of Aranyakas and Upanishbads I learned a little about Buddhism and Hinduism. They developed an interest in karma, the notion that that one's destiny is determined by ones own actions and did not blame the gods for the irresponsible behavior of human beings. The practice of Yoga ("yoking" the powers of the mind by special disciplines and concentration") caused the people to focus on their inner selves for enlightenment and not on the externals. The Buddha Siddhartha Gutama began teaching that Dharma, the truth about right living alone could free us of pain. Karma bound people could be free of an endless cycle of rebirth into a series of painful lives by reforming their egotistical attitudes and change their destiny and reach Nirvana. Nirvana literally means a "cooling off". Instead of a flame of misery lighting another flame of misery, one could reach Nirvana by right living. Was it all that simple? What about when your surrounded by inequity and injustice or murder, how do you keep your cool?

I believe in an almighty being that sits in judgment. I also believe that you do not need a big building to find God. I believe that God is in you and all around you. I believe he is there if you look for him. Religion is the only area of study where you learn right from wrong. i.e., do not steal, do not lie, do not kill, do not commit adultery, Honor your mother and father. You do not learn it in school and you do not learn it on the job. All major religions teach these things, yet I am appalled at the blatant disregard in these basic rules. Why do we not live the right life? I doubt that I could ever logically understand God. I do desperately yearn for his guidance to live a virtuous and pious life.
Return to 123HelpMe.com