Dante�s The Inferno by HPVVgUjy

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									Dante’s The Inferno

  An Introduction for English
            2332
Author
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
• The complete title of Dante’s work is
 il Commedia Divinia (The Divine
 Comedy).
• Epic poem in terza rima (tercets or
  groups of three lines with
  interlocking rhymes: aba, bcb, cdc.
  Italian original. A trilogy: Inferno,
  Purgatorio, Paradiso. Each volume
  divided into sections called Cantos.
  Recommended translations: John D.
  Sinclair, Allen Mandelbaum
Time & Place

• 1302-1321. Late Middle Ages,
  early Renaissance. Italy
Synopsis
• The Inferno is an account of Dante's own
  journey, guided by the ancient Roman poet
  Virgil, through the nine levels of hell.
  During this journey Dante (the poet himself
  is a character in the poem) encounters and
  holds conversations with pagan souls (non-
  believers who have been condemned).
  Aristotle and Homer are among the
  characters met. At the end of the journey,
  Dante must face Satan and confront the
  problem of how to escape from the
  underworld.
Main Issues (Themes and
Questions)

• Writing The Divine Comedy was for Dante a means
  of addressing personal and social, political, and
  historical problems
• The afterlife is portrayed as a figure or symbol for
  the material realities, spiritual nature, and
  consequences of the secular world (what happens
  to one who becomes obsessed with the material
  rather than the spiritual).
Concept of Contrapasso

• The sin equals the punishment;
  sinning is its own hell as it
  destroys the very life of the
  sinner
Significance of the
journey for Dante
• Journey as a means for working
  out and overcoming Dante's
  personal anger against those
  who victimized him and exiled
  him from Florence
Another theme

• The work is the journey of a soul to
  its redemption, the search through
  hell to find true love.
• Ultimate challenge of the text is that
  of embracing love, forgiving, and
  rejecting anger and evil; reunion
  with Beatrice as symbol of that
  accomplishment
Works Cited

• Davis, et. al. The Bedford Anthology
  of World Literature. Volume 2. NY:
  St. Martins, 2004.
• http://fajardo-
  acosta.com/worldlit/dante/inferno.ht
  m#author
• http://www.tabula-
  rasa.info/DarkAges/Dante.html

								
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