The Divine Comedy Essay Essay Research Paper

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The Divine Comedy Essay Essay, Research Paper The Divine Comedy Essay Dante Alighieri?s, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, was written during a very uncertain time of his life. He is middle aged and exiled from his beloved city of Florence. Dante is economically and politically ruined (Cervigni and Vasta 6). He reflects on the past and is repulsed by its significance. The consumption of his guilt, depression, and anger was the impetus for writing this book. In the first paragraph in Canto I, ?Midway in the journey of out life I found myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost. Ah, how hard it is to tell what that wood was, wild, rugged, harsh; the very thought of it renews the fear! It is so bitter that death is hardly more so. But, to treat of the good that I found in

it, I will tell of the other things I saw there.? (Alighieri 3) provides a sense where his mind was at the time. Dante is at a crossroads in his life and cannot find the road ahead. The dark wood refers to the uncertainty he was facing at the time. The prospect of death, for Dante, is an escape out of his torment. Dante made Hell with circles to express the different levels of guilt, depression, and anger. Throughout the circles, you find great poets, writers, biblical characters, and others, some of whom, in my opinion, do not belong there. I think he puts them there to relieve some of his guilt for the sins he has committed. I feel he uses logic to persuade the reader that if some of these great people are in Hell, then he is not that bad himself. Dante?s guilt in reflected in

Canto V, where he makes reference to his forbidden lustful love for Beatrice. He uses Francesca and Paolo?s love to compare it his own love for Beatrice. Dante feels compassion and sorrow for these two lovers when he states, ?Francesca, your torments make me weep for grief and pity;?(Alighieri 55) almost if to persuade the reader to feel pity for him. Dante also makes reference that he maybe could not help himself, of the feelings he had for Beatrice, because ?I learned that to such torment are condemned to carnal sinners, who subject reason to desire.?(Alighieri 49) Dante gives into his desires, at least in his imagination, and forgets to use reason. If Dante had used reason, he would have thought more of his wife than Beatrice would. He would have written his poems and cantos

about his wife instead to Beatrice. Dante?s reflection of his love and thoughts for Beatrice caused him to feel guilt. I think his guilt was based on the Bible?s commandment that states ?Thou shalt not commit adultery?. Dante believed that just thinking of his lust of Beatrice was just as sinful making love to Beatrice. In the first paragraph of Canto I, where he finds himself ?in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost?(Alighieri 3) leads me to believe he was depressed and contemplating suicide. In my view, this implies that he feels lost and alone and cannot see a way out because of the darkness. A way out of his depression because of all that has happened to him. His reference to the ?straight way was lost? implies to me that the straight way is a reference to the Bible

that you should not commit suicide. The straight way being lost hints to me that he was losing his faith and that suicide was on option. Canto XXIII is in circle seven, where he puts people who have committed violence against themselves. Dante draws an analogy with the stub, which was in life, Pier Delle Vigne, chief counselor of Frederick II of Sicily. Pier was accused unjustly of treachery and was imprisoned, whereupon he killed himself. Dante was accused of corruption of office, conflict of interest and embezzlement causing him to go into exile. Dante again tries to persuade the reader to pity him or at least understand that he was unjustly accused .?(Cervigni and Vasta 6). An example of his persuasion is when he writes, ?And the stub said, ?You so allure me with your sweet