The Allegorical Mechanisms Used by Dante in his Inferno

Decent Essays

Once said by Dante, “In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straightway was lost.” Dante consciously realizes that he’s “lost”, and sees no clear path before him. He’s at a standpoint of his life where the path of the future isn’t clearly seen. He must now find his path and his true purpose by descending down into the Inferno. Therefore, although Dante reflects the most informed theological thought on hell, he is certainly not constrained by it (Barolini). Dante masterfully constructs his hell and is “the first Christian writer to combine the popular material with the theological and philosophical systems of his day” (Morgan). Having a view that’s “both archaic and eschatological” (Davis), Dante explores through his Inferno the corruptness of Florentine politicians, symbolic interpretations of his political desires through different beasts of the Inferno, and combines the different beliefs of his day to form his hell.
Dante started his political career at a time when his society was more explosive than usual (James). “The whole city was full of rebellion and suspicion” (Bruni). Florence, known at the time, for its illustrious banking center, was vital to the Pope Boniface VII, for stability in his plan to control all Christendom (James). Dante finds himself “lost” after he’s exiled from Florence, for being against the accepted political party. Whilst traversing a circle of hell, Dante encounters a prominent Florentine member

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