Canto 8 Of Dante’s Inferno Essay

1439 words - 6 pages

In recent discussions of Canto 8 of Dante’s Inferno, many scholars have argued about Dante the pilgrim’s controversial abuse of one of the wrathful sinners of the fifth circle, Filippo Argenti. The altercation between the two is viewed in numerous lights. From one perspective it is seen as unjustified (ira mala) because Dante is seen as guilty of the sin being punished for in this circle, but also because his response was wrongly motivated. Others state that Dante’s anger was righteous (ira bona) because there was proper reasoning behind it. Kleinhenz, one particular scholar, argues that Dante’s outburst at Filippo Argenti is a result of the praise Dante received after initially criticizing the sinner. In his book, Inferno 8: The Passage Across the Styx, he maintains that Virgil’s praise “is perhaps wrongly motivated and consequently, that Dante’s reaction to Fillipo Argenti in this canto is equally erroneous”. Kleinhenz alludes to this point in his interpretation of Luke 11:27, where a woman who is praising Jesus is correct in her exaltation of the Mother and Son, but her praise is inappropriate to the situation. By analyzing the parallels between Virgil’s praise and the biblical verse, Kleinhenz argues that both Virgil and Dante’s actions are inappropriate and therefore ira mala.

John A. Scott, however, views Dante’s outburst as being justified. In his book,Understanding Dante, Scott argues that Florence was very much a part of Dante’s life and that Filippo Argenti was an ostentatious man whose “arrogance and insolent display of wealth” as well as “corrupt nature” is viewed synonymously with Florence’s decline. Therefore Scott argues that Dante’s rage was appropriate because it was inspired by the new decadence of Florence, which was once a city that was “at peace, sober and modest” before Argenti’s corruption. In other words, Scott believes that Dante has the right to be angry with Argenti who caused the fall of his beloved city. My opinion, however, is that Dante’s outburst was both ira mala and ira bona. Dante’s treatment of Argenti was motivated by many different factors and therefore the force that compelled Dante to act in the way that he did can not be classified solely as righteous or indignant.

Dante’s obsession with Virgil is evident in the nicknames that Dante uses –leader, lord, master, sweet father and teacher to name a few. Dante’s idolization of Virgil the poet causes him to act out in order to please his guide. For example, when Dante first recognizes Argenti as the sinner in the mud he cries out to him, “With weeping and mourning cursed spirit, now remain; for I recognize you, though you are filthy all over,” (Inf. 8.33-35). In this passage, Dante is not verbally abusing Argenti rather he is simply telling the sinner to remain where he is in order to prevent Argenti from reaching over the boat. After these words however, Virgil becomes elated at Dante’s distaste with the sinner and immediately praises Dante. ...

Find Another Essay On Canto 8 of Dante’s Inferno

Allegorical Punishments: Analysis of Dante’s Use of Allegory in Inferno

1280 words - 5 pages destroyed their own bodies are denied a human form. Only through their own blood do they find voice.” (Pg 118) When Dante enters the woods he breaks off a branch of a tree and hears, “Why do you tear me? Is there no pity left in any soul? Men we were, and now we are changed to sticks; well might your hand have been more merciful were we no more than souls of lice and ticks.” (Canto 8 Lines 35-39) Personal Response to Inferno As mentioned before, Dante

Francesca's Style in Canto V of Dante's Inferno

5171 words - 21 pages Francesca's Style in Canto V of Dante's Inferno Canto V of Dante's Inferno begins and ends with confession. The frightening image of Minos who «confesses» the damned sinners and then hurls them down to their eternal punishment contrasts with the almost familial image of Francesca and Dante, who confess to one another. In a real sense confession seems to be defective or inadequate in Hell. The huddled masses who declare their sins

A discussion of the Plan of Dante’s Inferno

827 words - 4 pages Dante’s Inferno is about a man who goes through, and describes hell in great detail. He describes the many different levels, and the levels within the levels. He tells about who and why someone would go there, at each different level. Each crime, or sin has a different punishment that has to do with how bad the sin was that the person committed. Some punishments are more intriguing than others, depending on the person reading them. Some of

(A Critique of Lines 46-57 of Dante’s Inferno)

931 words - 4 pages want to finish writing Inferno, and make it through hell. But what does he say that is so inspirational? How does this passage fit in with the rest of the poem? The ‘Up on your feet’ passage can be broken into three parts, each with its own individual meaning. The three parts of the ‘Up on your feet’ passage in Dante’s Inferno relate to the rest of the poem because they address how far Dante has already come, his immediate future, and the rest of

An analysis of 3of the best punishments from Dante’s Inferno

880 words - 4 pages In Dante’s Inferno, Dante travels through nine circles of hell. “Dante's Inferno, widely hailed as one of the great classics of Western literature, details Dante's journey through the nine circles of Hell.” (Miller) Dante tells us that you don’t go to Hell because you’ve sinned; you go to Hell because you didn’t repent for your sins. In each circle, there are different types of sinners and punishments for each sin. The punishments can be

The Role and Function of the Major Monsters in Dante’s Inferno

1895 words - 8 pages excerpt taken from the Canto XVII to demonstrate the hideous monster Geryon is as follow: According to the aforementioned quotation, the hideous monster Geryon is the most elaborately described among the entire major monsters in Dante’s Inferno, which is highly significant as he represents the intricacies of human’s fraud. The suppression of the monster’s bodily parts portray that chronological sequences of fraudulent action; first, his honest

Comparing the Struggle in Dante’s Inferno and Book VI of The Aeneid

4378 words - 18 pages The Infernal Struggle in Dante’s Inferno and Book VI of The Aeneid Does hell have its own history? For Dante, the structural and thematic history of ‘hell’ in the Inferno begins with the Roman epic tradition and its champion poet, Virgil. By drawing heavily from the characteristics of hell in Book VI of The Aeneid, Dante carries the epic tradition into the medieval world and affirms his indebtedness to Virgil’s poetry. Moreover, Virgil

an analysis of the “Up on your Feet” passage from Dante’s Inferno, and how it relates to the overall theme of the book

861 words - 4 pages people believed in gods of the Earth. After the time of the Greek Olympians passed came the time of Christian Doctrine, and the rise of the Roman Catholic Church. One text from this time gives reason to be a believer and gives reason for one to repent their sins. Dante’s Inferno has lasted the test of time, and though its writer didn’t necessarily believe this to be the true representation of Hell, he shows the world what his personal Hell would

Canto XXIII

1087 words - 5 pages death (University of Virginia). In Canto XXIII, Caiaphas is impaled by three stakes on the ground. Dante sees Caiaphas stretched across the path, naked, as the hypocrites walk over him with their heavy cloaks. Catalano explains how Caiaphas is a hypocrite too for sentencing Jesus to death. Works Cited Beaumont, Doug. "Dante's Divine Comedy, Inferno: Cantos 23-25." Soul Device. N.p., 24 Jan. 2012. Web. 26 Jan. 2014

Comparing the Underworlds in Dante’s Inferno and The Odyssey

2212 words - 9 pages .”(Canto II: 70-72). Odysseus has a very sexual relationship with Circe. While Beatrice and Dante do not have sexual relationship, Beatrice is his love. Minos, Zeus’ son and the king of the underworld, judges and decides the fate of all those that enter hell and the House of Death, in both Dante’s Inferno and The Odyssey, respectively. In The Odyssey, Minos is described as, “firmly enthroned, holding his golden scepter, judging all the dead

Dante's Inferno and The Afterlife

2336 words - 9 pages allegory.”(Bloomfield) As Bloomfield stated, it is only how we interpret the words in an allegory that matters, each person can interpreted it in a slightly different way and allegories are most often personalized by a reader. Dante’s Inferno allegory is present throughout the entire poem. From the dark wood to the depths of Dante’s hell he presents the different crimes committed in life as they could be punished in death. One of the first

Similar Essays

Divine Comedy Dante And Virgil's Relationship In Canto Xiv Of Dante’s Inferno

842 words - 3 pages Dante and Virgil's Relationship in Canto XIV of Dante’s Inferno In Canto XIV of Dante’s Inferno, Virgil describes the statue of the Old Man of Crete. Dante uses the Old Man of Crete as a metaphor for Virgil’s legacy in order to elucidate the nature of Dante’s and Virgil’s relationship. In the beginning of the metaphor, Dante carefully and methodically illustrates the grandeur of the Greek empire and Roman civilization. "[Mount Ida] was

The Opening Foundational Themes Of Dante’s Inferno

1725 words - 7 pages worst punishment of all, seems contrary to our current judiciary methods. However, when one begins to examine the reasoning behind Dante’s methods, one realizes that the logic basic to this hierarchy is actually quite sound. In Canto XI, Virgil responds to Dante the Pilgrim’s questioning by explaining: (Musa, 57-59) “All malice has injustice as its end, And end achieved by violence or by fraud; While both are sins that earn the hate of Heaven

Divine Comedy Contrapasso Of Dante’s Inferno

1680 words - 7 pages Inferno - Contrapasso In Dante’s Inferno, Dante takes a journey with Virgil through the many levels of Hell in order to experience and see the different punishments that sinners must endure for all eternity. As Dante and Virgil descend into the bowels of Hell, it becomes clear that the suffering increases as they continue to move lower into Hell, the conical recess in the earth created when Lucifer fell from Heaven. Dante values the

Dante's Inferno: The Theme Of Anti Love In Canto Xxviii

1643 words - 7 pages Dante’s Divine Comedy is a multi-layered epic, containing not only a story about his incredibly difficult journey from earth to the depths of hell then up to the peaks of heaven, but it also contains many insights on theology, politics, and even his own life. Broken into three canticles—Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso—the work is written in the terza rima form. In Inferno—in 33 Cantos—Dante makes a vast journey through the nine circles of