Violence Against Art

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  • Topic: Helios, Divine Comedy, Pope Boniface VIII
  • Pages : 4 (1218 words )
  • Download(s) : 485
  • Published : April 14, 2012
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The seventh circle of Dante’s hell houses the violent, the assassins, the tyrants and the war-mongers. The violence in this circle takes on three forms; violence against others or one’s neighbor, oneself, or God. Those who commit violence against other people or their property, the murders and thieves, are punished in the first ring of the seventh circle, which is a river of blood. Those who commit violence against themselves or their own poverty, suicides and squanderers, populate the second ring which is a horrid forest. The third ring is a sandy plain where it is raining fire. In this third ring there are three separate groups of violent offenders against God: blasphemers, those who offend God directly; the sodomites, those who violate nature or God’s offspring; and the usurers, those who harm industry and the economy (Alighieri).

Dante’s uses the term “Violent Against Art and Nature” when he is describing the seventh circle in his Inferno, which can have two different meanings (Alighieri). The first meaning of the word art is referring to artisanship. The working of natural resources and the products of its labor. By using this definition abusing industry by cheating it out of money is a crime of the seventh circle, third ring. It falls under the definition of usury. The word usury during Dante’s time did not mean the charging of an enormous interest on loans of money, but the charging of any interest at all. The idea that money makes money was impertinent to Dante, because he believed that profits should come from work. This is why the usurers are sinners against industry and should be punished appropriately.

The second definition of violence against art is very different from the first one because it refers to art as the idea of personal creative expression. Art requires a skill which includes painting, sculpture, architecture, music and literature. Dante believes that he is an artist because he writes poetry and therefore dedicates the...
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