Duality Of Religion In Dante's Inferno

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Jenny Tran
Jude V. Nixon
World Literature
September 20, 2017

The Duality of Politics and Religion Within Dante’s Inferno

Dante’s Inferno existed, without question, as an extension of the author’s personal faith, however; it also stands as an obviously bias, partisan manuscript. Dante Alighieri was conceived, lived and perished in a conflicted Italy, rife with political tension. He expended most of his young life embroiled in the policy and government of Florence and while the character Dante within the book was sympathetic to most of the dammed souls, it was the author Dante who placed those dead entities there in the first place. The struggle between church and state raged during his lifetime and yet found a kind of coincident duality within the Divine Comedy. Dante’s Inferno emphasized the finality of god’s will and consequences of living life in contradiction of his teachings, but also positioned Dante’s political opponents, individuals who he alleged sinful, in the fires of hell. His background in the conflicts of Florence explain many of Dante’s choices for occupants of the nine circles of damnation. During his lifetime, two influential positions vied for power. The Pope, who represented the church, and the Holy Roman Emperor, who represented the state, each held claim to power, and each wanted to conquer the other. Two parties stood behind their respective leader; the Guelph party were loyal to the Pope and the Ghibelline party to the emperor. The Guelph triumphed

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