Analysis of the Divine Comedy

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YUCHEN DIAO
EH 235
Mr. Fantoni
PAPER #2
Analysis of The Divine Comedy
The selected text comes from The Divine Comedy, written by Dante Alighieri, an Italian poet. It is a part of Canto XXIV, where Dante goes down to the seventh chasm of the eighth cycle in Hell with Virgil’s help. The seventh chasm is the Thieves’ place which is filled with “a terrible confusion of serpents, and Thieves madly running.” This short selected text links the previous passages with later passages by developing of the scenario of The Divine Comedy. In this short scene, Dante used some similar elements from the over all story, such as the same voice. In The Divine Comedy, the writer Dante used the first person as the voice. He is the narrator. This serves two main purposes: first, the first person implies that the stories of this poem are based on his own real experience, for example, the story of Vanni Fucci in the seventh chasm; second, first person lets author describe his stream-of-consciousness during the adventure. In addition, Dante kept to his proposal about retribution that the punishment should fit the “sin”. Dante illustrates his agreement with the moral standard of Christians. The sins are related to the faith of the Christian’s thoughts. The seventh chasm is the place to punish Thieves, who committed sins of stealing. The Thieves stole property of other people before their death, so they are condemned to spend eternity with their hands bound by serpents. Various punishments in Inferno are the marvels of Dante’s imaginative minds. Dante is thusly warned to avoid those sins, because people who did villainy during life, in the Inferno, suffering from their sins in life. Therefore, he preferred to describe everything in details. In the selected text, he describes a lot how the serpents bound the Thieves, “Their hands were tied behind their backs with serpents, which pushed their tails and heads around the loins and coiled themselves in knots around the front.” The More...
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