The Inferno, By Dante

2284 Words10 Pages
Throughout the Inferno, Dante has often presented characters in a way that reflects his own personality: there is the amorous and suicidal Dido for whom he shows sympathy and gives a lesser punishment, while there is the suicidal Pier delle Vigne to whom he gives a much harsher punishment. This difference in placement should reflect a strict moral code that agrees with a pre-established divine order, and yet Dante demonstrates such obvious favoritism. Why? Dido loved Aeneas too much, as Dante loved Beatrice. Therefore, Dante can easily sympathize. Similarly, when Dante faces Francesca da Rimini and her lover Paolo, he experiences an immense amount of understanding and compassion – yet they are there in Hell. While these characters may come…show more content…
In the Commedia, Dante depicts himself as a prophet (for which God’s word is the Commedia itself) who undergoes a learning experience that transforms him into a perfect prophet who is able to convey God’s word without doubts or reservations. This transformation occurs gradually as Dante learns from various characters he meets throughout the journey, but probably the greatest contributor to this transformation is Ulysses. In Canto XXVI, Dante focuses on major themes regarding his spiritual condition in order to contrast Ulysses’ spiritual condition, some of which include the cause for damnation or salvation, a poetic and/or prophetic authority, and flight. The primary source of similarities between their spiritual states can be found in Dante’s Convivio, which employs a much more philosophic and empirical perspective that ultimately led Dante into the selva scura as seen in the beginning of the Commedia. The Commedia itself is meant to turn those similarities into differences and thereby convince the reader of his transformation from Convivio to the Commedia. In Canto XXVI, as Dante the pilgrim converses with Ulysses through Virgil – while assuming that Virgil understands that which Dante wishes to ask – it is important to note Dante’s enthusiasm for coming to understand the history and sins of each character he meets: “‘S’ei posson dentro da quelle faville parlar,’ diss’io, ‘maestro, assai ten priego e ripriego, che

More about The Inferno, By Dante

Open Document