inferno study guide

inferno study guide - Dantes Inferno I. Themes A. Journey-...

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Dante’s Inferno I. Themes A. Journey- Dante’s Journey becomes an allegory for all of human kind. All of mankind is fallen and does not understand the world in which they live. The world is more complex (both Christian and temporal) than what they simply see. They must have a divine awakening, much like Dante does by the last Canto, to overcome sin. 1. “When I had journey half of our life’s way, I found myself within a shadowed forest, for I had lost the path that does not stray.” Canto I, opening words of book, also highlights the vanity of human knowledge B. Contrapasso- the process of punishing a particular sin in a way that contrasts or is similar to the sin itself. Punishments exist to balance sins. Structure of the poem reinforces this idea: lesser sins are at the top of Hell and the most severe are in the depths of Hell. Virgil’s rebuking of Dante’s sympathy and Dante’s declining pity itself emphasize divine justice’s righteousness and wisdom. Sinners are punished due to, once again, their lack of understanding of divine will. 1. “Through me the way into the suffering city. ..abandon every hope, who enter here.” Canto III, inscription above gates of Hell. Represents justice and the fact that humans have to understand the world they live in. Hell is a part of the Universe, and not merely created for sinners 2. “The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened, have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them” Canto III, fence sitters who refused to choose between God and the Devil are now received by neither. A cautionary tale: without
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2011 for the course HONR 101 taught by Professor Makowski during the Spring '08 term at Loyola Chicago.

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inferno study guide - Dantes Inferno I. Themes A. Journey-...

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