Dante's Inferno, Cantos 24 Essay

Decent Essays
Dante’s Inferno is a classic text that has survived the centuries that have worn it down. It tells the journey through the nine circles of Hell for Dante the pilgrim. One of the famous passages given within the tale is Virgil’s motivational speech to Dante in Cantos 24. It goes as thus;

“Up on your feet! This is no time to tire!” my Master cried. “The man who

lies asleep will never waken fame, and his desire and all his life drift

past him like a dream, and the traces of his memory fade from time like

smoke in air, or ripples on a stream. Now, therefore, rise. Control your

breath, and call upon the strength of the soul that wins all battles unless it

sink in the gross body’s fall.
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The reason that Dante is even on this journey is because Beatrice, who is Divine Love, is worried that Dante has “has strayed onto a friendless shore and stands beset by such distress that he turns afraid from the True Way”. She asks Virgil ,the Roman poet that Dante draws lots of inspiration from, to lead him through Hell. By doing this, Dante will learn to resist the temptation of sins, and return to the True Way. However, he would need to gather inner strength to be able to survive the journey.

Finally, Dante must understand what he sees to be able to return to the True Way, which is the reward for the journey. Virgil is not taking Dante down through Hell just to chat with the souls down there, he needs him to understand the consequences, and to prevent his downfall into Hell himself. Dante does learn the lessons taught by Virgil and Hell, and at the end of Inferno, they “walked out once more beneath the Stars.” This tells us that Dante did learn, and is back on the True Way.

The “Up On Your Feet” passage notes other parts in the story, like the fight back to the True Way, to resist the temptation of sin, and the reward afterwards. Dante’s Inferno is a song that calls to the heartstrings, because at least once in the story we will make a connection to what Dante is going through. There is a reason that this is a classic text, and that is the connection that it still has, even in the present day. This is not a story of a man into Hell, but rather a journey
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