Italpaper - Ital 250a Canto 6 The Political Cantos Dante...

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Ital 250a Canto 6 – The Political Cantos Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy is considered to be one of the central epic poems in Italian literature, and as one of the greatest works of world literature. Its detailed vision of the Afterlife is a culmination of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church. The symmetry of the poem is outstanding. Everything is carefully planned out, put in its correct place, and accurately assigned a numerical value by using a brilliant form of allegory. Dante places unrestrained political content in each of the sixth cantos of the poem, which is consistent with his constant attention to symmetry. He goes through Florentine politics in Inferno 6, Italian politics in Purgatory 6, and the politics of the Holy Roman Empire in Paradise 6. These three political cantos, taken together, are marked with the "number of the beast" (666). This may be very relevant because of Dante’s political exile by Pope Boniface VIII. Inferno 6 begins with Dante the pilgrim regaining consciousness only to be in front of the third circle of Hell. This circle is reserved for the gluttonous and the “Appetite” of Hell, Cerberus, guards and tortures them. They are beat down by the rain, hail, and snow into a sort of muck because they had reduced their lives to the satisfaction of their appetite in life. Florence is first mentioned in verse 49 – “Your own city, so filled with envy its cup overflows the brim…” (p. 33). The sinner, Ciacco, is the one who mentions Dante’s hometown and who is also the one
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This essay was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course ITAL 240A taught by Professor Terpen... during the Fall '07 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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Italpaper - Ital 250a Canto 6 The Political Cantos Dante...

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