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The importance of the quest in Homer's Odyssey and Dante's The Inferno - Essay Example

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The Divine Comedy, written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and 1321, comprises the three canticas, the first of which is the "inferno" or the Hell. The journey starts from the middle and hence is an ideal media res structure, when Virgil guides the poet, hardened in sin…
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The importance of the quest in Homers Odyssey and Dantes The Inferno
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Download file to see previous pages The damned souls populate the chasm, which Dante classifies under Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics, and thus becomes an amalgamation of Grecian hellish myth and a testimony to Aquinas' appropriation of Christian sensibility in Aristotle's Ethics.
Virgil guides Dante through the nine concentric circles of Hell., diving into deeper and graver sins, unrepentant, and culminating into absolute evil, as represented by Satan. The journey begins from the Dark wood, and into the Limbo. It is more of a pagan, unbaptised and a coarse yet virtuous crowd like Homer, Horace, Ovid and Lucan (Canto IV), who only repent their seperation from god. In Canto V, one of the seven cardinal sins appear, which is sin under lust. Inhabited by the adultress Francesca, who proclaims to justify her irresistible attraction to Paolo, in a way that evokes the ideology of the immoral Thirteenth century Italian love sonnets, that challenged the power of love beyond anything. The third realm is possessed by Cerbereus, amonster from greek mythology, but attributed with montrous humanity by Dante, who guards the gluttons. The journey also evokes the political tensions of contemporary Florence and the complexity of the whole Guelf-Ghibelline conflict and Florentine politics that reached its crest in 1300 (ironically the fictional date chosen by Dante for his Inferno). Hatred for papacy, and the belief that Rome is predestined to be the seat of Empire, disillutions the poet about factionalism (symbolically Florence is shown to be divided by the Arno river of the Hell in Inferno) and party politics and makes him search out a way for Salvation through his poem. The political condition of Florence is mouthed by the sinner Ciacco in Canto VI, in the third realm. IN Canto VII, with the beginning of the fourth circle, Dante sees Pluto stationed, a place damned for the avaricious and the prodigal. In a sysiphean way, the group ofmiserly and the wasteful squanderers push weights against each other and start allover again when it smashes on any of the sides. It is a psychological drama represented by the futility that awaits all materials things that we pursue in life. Entering the land of the sloths, thepoet and Virgil cross Styx with the ferryman, Phlegyas, when tey meet the fury of Filippo Argenti, and denied entry by the fallen angels of the city of Dis, and meeting the hellish monsters and the wrath of the furies are granted entrance due to Heaven's intervention. Thesixth circle burns with consuming flames to torture the heretics. Here he meets the famous Ghibelline Farinata delgi Uberti, who was seen as a heretic for potensial opposition against the political lrole of the papacy. Excluded from any form of amnesty and pardon he is damned. This part seeks to voice the poets contest with his own fears about sin against the papacy. The violent, like those commited against people and property,theirown self i.e. suicice and that against God, nature and the art i.e. blasphemers, sodomites and the usurers are punished in the seventh circle, and guarded by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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