Dante And Montaigne: The Epitomes Of Their Time Periods

1271 words - 5 pages

During the middle Ages and the Renaissance there were two magnificent writers who demonstrated epitomic belief and thought of their eras. One brilliant writer, Dante Alighieri, wrote the Divine Comedy during the Medieval Ages. During the Renaissance period Michel de Montaigne wrote the Essays. Montaigne is thought to have made the modern day essay. Although, these two different writes wrote in two completely different time periods, their pieces have similarities. Both writers, Dante and Montaigne, demonstrate epitomic thoughts of their eras and contain ideas from their time period in their work.Dante wrote his piece with a complex theme. Dante tried to make an image of the universe by making a map in which he placed people in different levels of hell according to the sins they had committed. Dante positioned the worst sinners, according to his judgment, closer to Satan and each level had its own punishment. In the story, Dante himself travels through many levels trying to find himself and trying to make sense of this universe. Some of Dante's themes were that the whole universe had reason, meaning, and order. The meaning, reason, and order were part of God's plan for the world. The Divine Order was achievable by each individual. In order to represent this idea Dante made the map of people's choices and the eternal consequences of their decisions. He saw the universe in three main sections, Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. Hell was the dreaded world of punishment:"Through me you go into the city of grief,Through me you into the pain that is eternal,Through me you go among people lost.""Justice moved my exalted creator;The divine power made me,The supreme wisdom and the primal love...Before me all created things were eternal,And eternal I will last.Abandon every hope, you who enter here."(p.401)The people's punishment and the layers they were placed in helped to find the eternal consequence of each human decision. This made the path to heaven is clearly distinguishable. Dante's complex theme portrayed that the spirit to find God and one's path into Heaven was reachable.In Dante's the "Divine Comedy" there were religious implications on how one must act in order to reach Heaven. Dante implied that one must not sin greatly and must achieve the Divine Order to be accepted into the gates of paradise. God's omnipotence and grandeur must be accepted and individuals must have faith. According to Dante the slightest sin such as not being baptized does not allow acceptance to heaven. Moreover, people must abstain from wrongdoing and be on a righteous path. The greatest sin to Dante was betrayal and deceit, the punishment for such a sin was to be eaten alive in the mouth of Satan. Today Hell is portrayed as a pit of flaming fire; the Middle Age's Hell had many different levels for the severity of sin. The people of the medieval period believed Hell to be far from Heaven at the center of the earth. The category of sins was so vast that one had to live a extremely...

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