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 against the GHIBALLINES (black group.)-Guelphs believed in separation of church and state. STATE was for Peace on Earth, CHURCH was for Salvation.-Ghiballines believed in secular power, led by the POPE.-The black group overcame the white group and the guelphs (white group) were exiled. Including Dante.Reasons For Writing the Inferno:-Death of Beatrice. Helps to teach people what it takes to be saved. Prove that for humans to overcome evil, it takes divine aid. He is trying to teach people the correct way to live their lives.-Exile from Florence. He used this work to criticize the church and the state. He is so rebellious that he does not write in the accepted language but in the vernacular (Italian) so all can understand his criticisms.Key Terms:-Courtly Love: (The love between Dante and Beatrice) Marriage is impossible. The lover is totally out of reach. (In this case Dante was married, making him inaccessible.)-Allegory: A literary, dramatic or artistic piece in which characters and events stand for abstract ideas, principles or forces so that the literal sense suggests a parallel, deeper symbolic sense.-Retribution: Punishment or reward distributed in a future life based on performance in this one.-Malebolge: Evil DitchesStructure of Comedy:TRINITY (Many symbols dealing with the number 3)3 Canticas (Books)-Father (Power) Cantica #1, The Inferno, 33 cantos (chapters) plus 1 extra (the Vestibule)-Son (Wisdom) Cantica #2, Purgatorio, 33 cantos-Holy Spirit (Love) Cantica #3, Paradiso, 33 cantosAdds up to 100 total cantos, which is a power of 10, the perfect number.Retributions:-Vestibule:The Opportunists- They did not do good nor evil, they took no sides andare therefore given no place (They are not in hell, or out of it). They run around after a banner pursued by wasps and hornets, which sting them and make them bleed. Maggots that are on the ground feed them upon.-Circle 1:Limbo, Virtuous Pagans- Their only torment is that they have no hope. They are not tormented because their only sin is that they were born without the light of Christ's Revelation (Before Christ's birth) and so can never enter into the light of God. (Paradise)-Circle 2:The Carnal- They abandoned themselves to the whirlwind of their passions (adultery and so forth) so in death they are constantly swept about in a dark whirlwind and denied the light of reason and of God. PAOLO and FRANCESCA are here. They are so high up because this is a sin of LOVE.-Circle 3:Gluttons- In life they made no use of God's gifts other than to wallow in food and...


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