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Dante Alighieri’s Road To Success Essay

1134 words - 5 pages

To many outsiders, America is known as the Land of Opportunity. Many believe that by coming to this country that they will suddenly gain a new life. The American Dream is one that many philosophers have studied, and seems to this day very real, yet rare. However, the reason it isn’t very common isn’t strictly due to the economy, but the laziness that is acquainted with the term “freedom.” Dante Alighieri’s famous text The Inferno outlines many moral ideas. In this tale, a man named Dante the Pilgrim takes a voyage into Hell with Virgil. They go through many different levels and circles of Hell that each represents an important sin or crime. Though it is a highly controversial book, there is one specific passage that is important to finding success. In this quote, Virgil is speaking to Dante who has tired along his path through the seventh circle of Hell: “‘Up on your feet! This is no time to tire!’ my Master cried. ‘The man who lies asleep will never waken fame, and his desire and all his life drift past him like a dream, and the traces of his memory fade from time like smoke in the air, or ripples on a stream. Now, therefore rise. Control your breath, and call upon the strength of soul that wins all battles unless it sink in the gross body’s fall. There is a longer ladder yet to climb: this much is not enough. If you understand me, show that you mean to profit from your time.’” (Pg. 207, lines 46-57) By careful analysis and critique, we can pick apart this passage and see the important themes portrayed in Dante’s famous book The Inferno and how they can relate to success.
First of all, we can look at the very two sentences in Dante’s text, and see how it portrays the shortness of life. We’ve always been told to live life as if we were to die tomorrow. This is a great idea, but the reality is that many don’t. Even when the young generation came up with the theme Y.O.L.O, (You Only Live Once), it still made little impact. Why is it so difficult to live life? Is it out of fear? Or simply out of ignorance? We never know why someone does what they do, but Alighieri describes in the first two sentences how short life is. Virgil states in his Dante’s tale: “‘Up on your feet! This is no time to tire!’ my Master cried. ‘The man who lies asleep will never waken fame, and his desire and all his life drift past him like a dream, and the traces of his memory fade from time like smoke in the air, or ripples on a stream…” (pg. 207 lines 46-51) The importance of this is that if you don’t utilize your time alive, then your memory will go away. You can’t make history “going through the motions.” Therefore, to anyone who craves success, they must do as Virgil says. They must abandon their laziness, and go out there.
Secondly, the theme of finding strength in oneself can be seen throughout Alighieri’s text The Inferno and the ways in which it helps success is inherent. In the passage, Virgil then states: “‘Now, therefore rise. Control your breath, and...

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