Research Paper: Divine Comedy

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Research Paper: Divine Comedy

Epic poems were popular as early as Ancient Greece. These poems depicted the events and the ideas of the time they were written in. One such epic poem was Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Written in the early fourteenth century the Divine Comedy takes on an allegoric view of the Christian and of the political beliefs held by Dante at the time. Dante was part of a political group in Italy known as the White Guelphs, who favored the Pope as leader over the Holy Roman Emperor. This held influence in the Divine Comedy. In trying to get these ideas out the people Dante wrote the epic poem in the vernacular of the Italian people. The Divine Comedy is centered on Dante and his two guides. The poem takes the reader on a journey with Dante and his guides through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. This is accomplished through the poem being broken up into three main canticles. Each one of these canticles contains thirty-three cantos. The number three is an important Christian symbol as it symbolizes the Trinity. This is important to Dante in his poem due to his religious beliefs. As the reader gets a literal description on Dante’s travels, the reader symbolically gains insight on how people viewed the progression of a person’s soul toward God. The first canticle is about Dante’s and his guide, Virgil’s, descent through the ten circles of Hell. As they descend through Hell the reader learns about the 10 circles. The deeper in Hell the worse your sin is considered. The sins that represented the circles included lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy and more. The reader also learns that the punishment a soul in Hell receives is tailored to the sin they committed. For example fortune tellers have their heads placed on backwards so they cannot see what lay ahead. Heretics are buried in tombs that burn forever. Lastly Dante and Virgil come across the tenth circle, where Satan is kept frozen. The lowest circle is not only...
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