Dante Alighieri In The Divine Comedy
Dante Alighieri was the author of a comedy called The Divine Comedy. This comedy is known as one of his greatest achievements in world literature. In The Divine Comedy, Dante portrays a vivid description of one man's (himself) travels through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Pergatorio), and Heaven (Paradiso).
The comedy focuses on Dante and the ultimate destination of his soul. In the writing of this story Dante faces many personal, ethical and social problems that he is dealt with in his life. The Divine Comedy shows both aspects of the author and the society of the Middle Ages. This poem is told in first person, which in itself portrays Dante throughout the entire poem.There were many focuses of society of the Middle Ages.
One major focus was on Christianity. The people of this society were sometimes referred to as laborers, "by the hands of God"; they displayed this with art and literature. Thus leading us to the influence and the writing of The Divine Comedy".Dante, was born into a very political society, were church and state were at odds. Dante supported his church (Catholicism) and accepted its teachings on life and death.
For Dante, the Roman way of life, was the right way of life. This is expressed in his interpretation of the Inferno (Hell). The Inferno gives a vivid display of Dante, who is portrayed as a hero, who is trapped in the dark woods and meets three beasts along the way who represent sin.
He is trying to reach a higher place, which is salvation. In this journey throughout the Inferno he is describing his inner feelings of entrapment. The text describes that his soul is lost and is desperately yearning for answers that he must only find through sacrifice. This constant struggle that he faces could be an interpretation of his feelings that he also had as a child growing up in the society for which he was born.
While Dante is trapped in this darkness, he meets Virgil. Virgil is his guide to help him to reach his ultimate destination. Virgil shows Dante that one must take several routes in order to achieve anything. That everything is not always "straight forward." "But you must journey down another road".
Dante emphasizes his fears and concerns with what he is seeing and he portrays them through the characters of the poem.There are also ethical conflicts shown in this poem. The conflicts are shown by the love for oneself. It is only natural for one to feel love, but when someone focuses too much on themselves, you can forget the main reason for life and that is God, who you should show ultimate love for. In the Inferno, this is shown in three forms- violence, fraud and self indulgence. Dante is taken through many circles of Hell, throughout this journey he is exposed to many emotions and actions of others, along with many obstacles that they must face.
Throughout his travels he faces annoying hornets, a river of blood, and souls that are frozen in Hell. Dante relates to many of these sins that are committed. Many who have died for mortal sins, which in the Christianity are the worse kinds of sins that can be committed. He sees thieves, deceivers, hypocrites, and traitors. He also sees popes that were from the Catholic religion that he was raised.
He must work through the feeling of pity for sinners and learn that they are there for what they have done, this is their punishment. Dante creates moral dilemmas of good and evil. There are visuals created that depict the afterlife, but also depict medieval structure.
He expresses his personal feelings through these images to help the reader to understand his meanings of what his life is like and his relationship with God.Purgatory (Purgatorio) is the next phase portrayed by Dante. In Purgatory you have envy, sloth, pride, wrath and lust. Purgatory deals more with motives rather than actions. It deals with Christian life.
Purgatory was very important in the Middle Ages; it provided rationalization for grace through sacraments. This shows how the catholic society was influential on Dante in this poem. Purgatory also demonstrates the spherical earth, which is discussed by Dante throughout the poem. While there he meets Cato, who is a symbol of the Roman Catholic Church.
Dante is purged of the seven deadly sins while in Purgatory. He feels a since of suppression of his own pride, unlike how he started in the Inferno. Purgatory is a place of vivid images only; this is significant in the fact that it does not have full bodies, only images of which people are. Dante is portraying here, his Catholic belief that all souls must go to a somewhat holding ground before moving to a higher place.
In Purgatory he sees his ultimate love from childhood, Beatrice. Beatrice will take him into the Heavens.The last travel is to Heaven (Paradiso). In the Paradiso, the spheres of the earth are shown again in that there are nine spheres of Heaven. Paradiso is composed of wisdom, fortitude, justice, and temperance and also composed of faith, love and hope.
In the Paradiso, there are many spheres that Dante must travel through to get to the final point of salvation. Dante meets many Saints in Heaven and is able to now see that the Paradiso is seeable by human eye, and he now has understood what God was and could now feel the love for God that he should. His travels through Heaven are led by Beatrice. I believe that Dante uses Beatrice as his guide in this part to portray the love that is underlying for her.
Her beauty is greater than ever before. She symbolizes peace and helps Dante to portray to the reader that the Paradiso is peaceful and is a more beautiful place than ever before. Dante sees a rose, which is symbolic of the souls of the faithful.In the poem The Divine Comedy, Dante uses vivid images and descriptions to portray all the struggles that he goes through to attain spiritual illumination.
It provides a foundation that shows the readers point of views of the Medieval Christianity. Dante shows moral actions through the visions he has in Hell, the emotions that he deals with in Hell (pity), through the experiences in Purgatory, through the feelings he must overcome in Purgatory to leave behind what he has seen in Hell, and through the ultimate reward found in Heaven, the ultimate salvation that he feels and receives in the end.So when asked to write about the portrayal of the author of The Divine Comedy, this is easy for me, for The Divine Comedy IS the portrayal of Dante and his travels that he must go through to achieve complete happiness with his inner being, along with this the poem displays the views of the Medieval Christianity .
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