Perception Dante Alighieri’s In The Inferno

1816 words - 7 pages

Perception Dante Alighieri’s in The Inferno

In The Inferno, Dante Alighieri, the poet, places a strong emphasis on perception; it is through sight that Dante the pilgrim can acknowledge and learn from his experience in hell. Sight plays an especially crucial role in the work because Dante, the pilgrim, is often captivated by an image of some kind. The sight of the sinners transfixes Dante; and the sinners are, in turn, captivated with Dante and Virgil. It would seem that everything Dante observes through his journey would be enlightening. However, through the admonishments of Virgil, it becomes apparent that there exist two distinct ways of perceiving: practical, active observation and unreceptive, disadvantageous perception. It is through practical and active observation that Dante comprehends the lessons of his journey. Unreceptive perception fails to provide valuable information for Dante to use during his life on Earth. In addition, with practical, active observation, Dante not only learns about the sinners but he learns about himself when his journey is reflected by a living soul in hell. Dante successfully completes his journey of enlightenment though hell by learning through active observation and self-reflection about himself and his journey. With the beneficial observation and reflection, Dante learns from the sinners and gains knowledge about himself.

There is a strong emphasis on perception throughout the novel. It is through sight that Dante acknowledges hell and learns from it. At the commencement of his journey into hell, Dante says to Virgil, "lead me to witness what you have said . . . and the multitude of woes" (Inferno 9).1 Dante’s purpose is to witness and learn from the perils of hell so he can live better on Earth. With each new sight, Dante, the pilgrim, gains advances toward his goal of enlightenment. Through his active perception, he acquires information that he can take back with him to use in his earthly life. With this type of perception, comes recognition, awareness, and self-knowledge. For instance, in Canto XVIII, Virgil advises Dante to look and learn from a sinner:

Then my leader gave me advice:

‘Extend your gaze a little farther ahead,

So that your eyes may fully observe the face

Of that disheveled strumpet.’ (149)

This moment illustrates Virgil’s idea of good perception as seeing and learning because it is one of the rare times Virgil calls for Dante to observe a specific figure. According to Virgil, Dante is to learn from the penalties of the sinners so he can improve his life on Earth. This method of perceiving differs from a vulgar stare. In Canto XVI, Virgil advises Dante: "One must take care with those who have the wit / not only to observe the action, but see / the thought as well" (133). This advice suggests that in observing one must look further than the superficial. The correct...

Find Another Essay On Perception Dante Alighieri’s in The Inferno

Fallen Souls, An essay about three people from Literature, History, or Present times that would be in "The Cantos of the Inferno" by Dante

697 words - 3 pages Thesis Statement: In each Circle and Canto there are differentpenalties to pay but it is for sure that each forbidden soul in theInferno will live forever in eternal suffering.I. IntroductionII. Medea and JasonA. Jason's love affair.B. Medea and the three children exiled.C. Medea's slaying of the three children and Glauce.D. Jason's penalties.III. O. J. SimpsonA. His Crime.B. His Penalties in the Inferno and in life.IV. Benedict ArnoldA. His

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 character Dante in "The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri

565 words - 2 pages place.Frightened, Dante continued on, but the souls moaning and crying out for help neverstopped. There was no help in this terrible place and certainly no hope. I think rightabout at that point Dante had a conscious check. He was probably willing at that point todo just about anything to get out of the inferno. I know I would have done anything toget out of there and fast. Hell probably made Dante fear judgment and to make thechoice to avoid going there at

The Contrapasso in Dante's "Inferno".

955 words - 4 pages exact proportion with the sin.It is God's will that everything should be an act out of love. Fraud is a greater sin than murder because while violence is against love, fraudulent is a perversion of it. Therefore the malevolent should be situated in the circle between the violent and the fraudulent, since their sin is against love. The story of Vittoria mentions this when she says her friend who was violent against others now lies in the circle above hers, boiling in others' blood. We can see also see that they are close to the bottom of hell, because it is evident that Dante is more matured and controls his sympathy for the sinners.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami, 100 Years of Solitude, by Macondo, and Inferno, by Dante Alighieri

1160 words - 5 pages the other hand, Inferno by Dante Alighierdo does resort to more magically realistic traits that Woods describes.
 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami certainly exemplifies irrefutable qualities of magical realism, the author raises more questions than answers and certain parts the ambience of the book show magical realism. Yet the fact that The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle does take place in a real city, tells of the exact dates (insert dates

The Beasts and Monsters in Dante's Inferno

3058 words - 12 pages , providing the only transportation between the sins of violence in the seventh circle to the sins of fraud in the 'malebolge'.  Geryon is the most intricately described of all the beasts in Inferno, which is significant as he represents the intricacies of fraud.  He is summoned by Dante's "corda", which links him immediately with the leopard of Canto I, as Dante tells the reader that,             ..con essa pensai alcuna volta

The Contrapasso of Caiaphas in Dante's Inferno

642 words - 3 pages In Canto XXIII of Dante's Inferno, the hypocrites, especially Caiaphas, provide an excellent example of Divine Justice as contrapasso. The hypocrites presented their ideas as pure and good, while in reality, they did not act according to their supposed morality or practice the virtues that they preached. Because in life, the hypocrites said one thing and did another, their heavy garments seem one thing and are, yet another. The ornate

Divine Comedy - The Trinity in Dante's Inferno

2281 words - 9 pages fugitive,/ turn back to look intently at the pass/ that never has let any man survive" (I, 22-27). Of course, Dante was in exile when he wrote The Inferno, but his journey takes place beforehand. This "presaging" underscores the theme of cyclical time in the epic, that of historical repetition with confused tenses.   The tangle of temporalities is never more evident than in the Sixth Circle, comprised of Heretics. Dante is told of his

St. Augustine in the Dante's Inferno

1166 words - 5 pages fend-for-yourself society. Before Augustine's conversion, this was his goal. He was continually searching for "honors, money, (and) marriage" (Confessions, 991). This allows Augustine to be placed in the first area of hell, the Vestibule. It is a place for opportunists such as Augustine was before his conversion. It is a place for the "nearly soulless. . . who were neither for God nor Satan, but only for themselves" (Inferno, 1295). Augustine never

Comparing the Underworlds in Dante’s Inferno and The Odyssey

2212 words - 9 pages Dante’s Inferno is a narrative poem, with a very complicated rhyme scheme, originally written in Italian. It documents the author’s, Dante, trip through hell, where he learns how hell is organized and the way in which sinners are punished. Dante is guided by the great poet Virgil, who leads him throughout hell. The Odyssey, is an epic authored by the Greek, Homer. The epics centers on Odysseus’ protracted journey home. The protagonist

Dante's Divine Comedy - Good and Evil in The Inferno

1285 words - 5 pages Lessons of Good and Evil in The Inferno      In The Inferno, Dante explores the ideas of Good and Evil. He expands on the possibilities of life and death, and he makes clear that consequences follow actions. Like a small generator moving a small wheel, Dante uses a single character to move through the entire of Hell's eternity. Yet, like a clock, that small wheel is pivotal in turning many, many others. This single character, Dante himself

Similar Essays

The Inferno By Dante Alighiere Essay

670 words - 3 pages The Inferno by Dante Alighiere Translated by John Ciardi „«     Summary of plot, organization and resolution o     The Inferno is the first of a three part series by Dante known as the Divine Comedy. In this Divine Comedy Dante chronicles his journey to God through the levels of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. The Inferno is his description of his journey through the levels of Hell. The Inferno

God's Justice In The Inferno By Dante Alighieri

2311 words - 9 pages “The Inferno” was written in the early fourteenth century by Italian politician Dante Alighieri, the book is the first part of the epic poem the “Divine Comedy” and it is followed by “Purgatorio” and “Paradiso”. The book “Inferno”, which is the Italian translation for Hell, narrates the journey of its author through what he believes is Hell, consisting of nine circles of suffering underneath the earth. In his journey Dante is guided

The Guardians Of The Inferno (Dante)

1187 words - 5 pages Dante's Inferno is one of the best written works of all time because it was written as anallegory inside an excellent story. A key part of this allegory was how Dante useddifferent guardians in the various circles of hell. These guardians were used to symbolizethe punishments of the sinners.Minos is the guardian of Circle II, the circle of the Lustful. He symbolizes an accusingpersonality because his job is to give punishments to the sinners

Study Notes For Dante Alighieri's The Inferno

1837 words - 7 pages Symbols:Dante: HumanityVirgil: Human ReasonBeatrice: Divine LoveSun: Divine IlluminationDark Wood of Error: WorldlinessGeryon: Dishonesty, Fraud (Head of an innocent man, Body of a serpent)Furies: Eternal RemorseDante's Life:-Born in Florence, Italy 1265. Died 1321.-Had an arranged marriage, but he was in love with a woman named Beatrice, but she died when she was 16 years old.-Dante was involved with the GUELPHS (white group). They fought