Essay by diamond8115 March 2004

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Dante: Humanity

Virgil: Human Reason

Beatrice: Divine Love

Sun: Divine Illumination

Dark Wood of Error: Worldliness

Geryon: Dishonesty, Fraud (Head of an innocent man, Body of a serpent)

Furies: Eternal Remorse

Dante's Life:

-Born in Florence, Italy 1265. Died 1321.

-Had an arranged marriage, but he was in love with a woman named Beatrice, but she died when she was 16 years old.

-Dante was involved with the GUELPHS (white group). They fought against the GHIBALLINES (black group.)

-Guelphs believed in separation of church and state. STATE was for Peace on Earth, CHURCH was for Salvation.

-Ghiballines believed in secular power, led by the POPE.

-The black group overcame the white group and the guelphs (white group) were exiled. Including Dante.

Reasons For Writing the Inferno:

-Death of Beatrice. Helps to teach people what it takes to be saved. Prove that for humans to overcome evil, it takes divine aid.

He is trying to teach people the correct way to live their lives.

-Exile from Florence. He used this work to criticize the church and the state. He is so rebellious that he does not write in the accepted language but in the vernacular (Italian) so all can understand his criticisms.

Key Terms:

-Courtly Love: (The love between Dante and Beatrice) Marriage is impossible. The lover is totally out of reach. (In this case Dante was married, making him inaccessible.)

-Allegory: A literary, dramatic or artistic piece in which characters and events stand for abstract ideas, principles or forces so that the literal sense suggests a parallel, deeper symbolic sense.

-Retribution: Punishment or reward distributed in a future life based on performance in this one.

-Malebolge: Evil Ditches

Structure of Comedy:

TRINITY (Many symbols dealing with the number 3)

3 Canticas (Books)

-Father (Power)...