Beyond The Bounds Of Earth

1487 WordsApr 11, 20176 Pages
Beyond the Bounds of Earth Dante breathes life to the cosmos by taking his readers on a journey through the many layers of the heavens in Paradiso. The passage selected introduces Dante’s journey to the Empyrean, which allows readers to analyze their own thoughts concerning outer space. Dante’s heaven is characterized by vitality and harmony, which serves to provide readers with peace upon every glance at the sky. Dante’s heaven reminds people of their small place in a large universe as well as of their free will in order to live a life focused on God. The poetry begins by proclaiming God’s glory and Dante calls to Apollo for guidance as he is about to embark upon his journey to the heavens. Dante even recognizes that it is the perfect…show more content…
In the beginning of the passage, Beatrice looks into Dante’s soul and discovers that he is in a troubled state of mind (P. I.85-86). She expresses that “[he] is making [his] mind dull with false imagining-[he] doesn’t perceive what [he] would see, if [he] could shake it off” (P. I.88-90). Dante is very confused and does not understand that he is no longer on earth. Beatrice wants Dante to realize that he will not be able to reach his full mental potential if he does not look to the Heavens and embrace reality. This can be applied to the readers’ lives as well, because if they solely focus on the “false imaginings” then they will inflate their own importance. Dante uses this dialogue to expose his own mortality as he assumes that he is still on the earth; furthermore, he is amazed that he could rise to the heavens as a mortal (P. I.97-98). He also uses this form of the Ptolemaic Universe to express the same idea that humans need to escape the smallness of the world and look to the Heavens (Dante’s Ten Heavens 13). C.S. Lewis agrees with this mentality by asserting that a result of the medieval universe is to “make the smallness of Earth more vividly felt” (Lewis 99). In saying that medieval people are more aware of their place in the universe, one will realize that Dante purposely trekked his journey through the different spheres of the known universe in order to make the reality of heaven appear tangible. In
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