AP English 3
August 2, 2012
Am I Dreaming, Or Is This Reality
Dante's Divine Comedy is a moral comedy that is designed to make the readers think about their own morals. The poem could have been used almost as a guide for what and what not to do to get into Heaven for the medieval people. Dante takes the reader on a journey through the "afterlife" to imprint in the readers’ minds what could happen to them if they don't follow a Godlike life and to really make the reader think about where they will go when they die and where they would like to go when they die. In the Divine Comedy, Dante uses his imagination and his knowledge of the people's perception of the "afterlife" to create a somewhat realistic yet somewhat imaginary model of the afterlife. Throughout the poem, Dante is advocating that man must consciously aim for righteousness and morality. People can often become so involved with day-to-day living that they will fall into a life consumed with sin. Man must always be aware of his need to perform righteously. The dark forest symbolizes a human life where every waking moment is not consciously devoted to morals and righteousness. The Inferno is probably the most realistic section of the Divine Comedy because it comes closer to fitting the people's perception of what Hell is really like then than Purgatory and Paradise do. People's mental image of Hell is an evil, dark, and scary place that is full of fire and that is exactly the way Dante depicts it. People are eager to see, hear, and read about violence, blood, and gore and the Inferno is full of it which helps the reader to pay closer attention to it. In a sense Dante is trying to scare the righteousness into people. Dante himself became scared when he read the inscription above the gate of Hell that read "ABANDON EVERY HOPE, YOU WHO ENTER HERE" because he did not realize that the inscription was only intended for those who had already died. The...