Essay on A Critique of Lines 46-57 of Dante's Inferno

Decent Essays
The ‘Up on your feet’ passage is a famous excerpt from Dante’s Inferno. It is quite inspirational, for good purpose; the passage is half directed at Dante the pilgrim, and half at Dante the poet (his self). He needed just as much inspiration to finish writing the dang thing as his fictional self needed inspiration to make it through hell. That is where Virgil’s brief monologue comes in. Through his words, he is able to hype Dante up enough to want to finish writing Inferno, and make it through hell. But what does he say that is so inspirational? How does this passage fit in with the rest of the poem? The ‘Up on your feet’ passage can be broken into three parts, each with its own individual meaning. The three parts of the ‘Up on your feet’…show more content…
After Virgil slaps the idea of quitting out of Dante’s mind, he takes lines 52-54 to strike a calmer tone, and tell Dante he needs to pull his self together and finish this journey. “Now, therefore, rise. Control your breath, and call upon the strength of soul that wins all battles unless it sink in the gross body’s fall. (Lines 52-54)” Virgil is communicating to Dante that he needs to take a second to calm down, and think clearly. Really, he doesn’t have a long way to go from here. He does the math, and sees he’s got like one and a half circles of Hell more to conquer. No biggie. Now, speaking to a more rational Dante, Virgil tells him to find the courage to finish this harrowing journey. Let us not forget where Dante is. It takes more than a little tolerance to stomach what his senses are taking in throughout this pilgrimage, not to mention what is yet to come. Now, it’s time for Dante to finish his little walk through Hell.
Lastly, the final piece of the ‘Up on your feet’ passage in Dante’s Inferno relates to the rest of the poem because it references the coming trials that Dante will have to face. Virgil knows something that Dante presently does not. In lines 55-57, he hints that this is merely part of a greater journey. “There is a longer ladder yet to climb: this much is not enough. If you understand me, show that
Get Access