Ney 1 - Rebecca, Ney The line In our past is our future...

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Rebecca, Ney The line “In our past is our future” unites two ostensibly different themes, reason and faith, in Dante’s Inferno. Led by Virgil through the levels of hell, Dante is greeted by the renowned epic poets, Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan. They honor Dante as they “made [him] one of their band, so [he] was sixth among so much wisdom” (Canto 4, ln. 101-102). Their chronological order further emphasizes Dante’s place in history as one of these poets just as a teacher passes on to a student and a father to a son. This moment places Dante in the position of intellectual glory. Virgil is an allegory for human reason, and as Dante follows him and is elevated to the status of these five poets, Dante becomes part of such wisdom, intellect, and reason. Reason typically challenges faith, yet Dante chose poets as opposed to the warriors and philosophers in Canto 4 because poets are able to reconcile the two. Dante, however, is in the process of achieving that state. He loses faith in the beginning of Canto 1 when he wants to
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course ITAL 333 taught by Professor Brownlee during the Spring '10 term at UPenn.

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Ney 1 - Rebecca, Ney The line In our past is our future...

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