Virgil Analysis of Dante Inferno Essay example

2202 Words Nov 17th, 2010 9 Pages
Virgil
Virgil came to be regarded as one of Rome's greatest poets. His Aeneid can be considered a national epic of Rome and has been extremely popular from its publication to the present day.
Virgil- Beatrice sends Virgil to Earth to retrieve Dante and act as his guide through Hell and Purgatory. Since the poet Virgil lived before Christianity, he dwells in Limbo (Ante-Inferno) with other righteous non-Christians. As author, Dante chooses the character Virgil to act as his guide because he admired Virgil's work above all other poets and because Virgil had written of a similar journey through the underworld. Thus, Virgil's character knows the way through Hell and can act as Dante's knowledgeable guide while he struggles alongside Dante
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Dante is like the son Virgil never had. This comes to light most apparently in their flight from the two-timing demons. In lifting Dante to his chest and carrying him as he sprints toward safety, Virgil becomes a mother figure to the terrified Dante. Hmmm, father and mother? You’re right in guessing that something bigger is going on here. As an unofficial poet laureate of the Romans, Virgil is a kind of patron spirit of Italy. Moreover, as the consummate speaker and writer of Latin – the ancestor language of Italian – Virgil is, in a sense, the fore-father of Dante’s native language. The two poets’ kinship traces back to their respective languages.
Virgil and Language
As much as Dante wants the title of "world’s greatest poet," Virgil, it seems, has that honor. If you haven’t noticed, the author-Dante hits us over the head with all the linguistic imagery in which Virgil is steeped. First and foremost, there’s that big important passage about Virgil’s "persuasive word." We know this is a weird concept so let’s just recap. The phrase in Italian is "parole ornate" which translates literally as "decorated word." Doesn’t that fit Virgil to a T? We’re talking about the writer of the Aeneid here, the Latin epic to end all epics, and Dante’s all-time favorite book.

We figure that Virgil spent so much time writing the Aeneid – invoking the Muses, speaking in
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