Dante and the Popes

Essay by benschriHigh School, 12th gradeA-, May 2007

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Some people think that the divine comedy is a piece of religious literature, but in reality it is a political device that Dante used as a way to get back at his political enemies. Dante started out as one of the main political leaders in Florence at the time. Florence was the political hot spot of the time. Dante was born in Florence, Italy in 1265. He was born into the Guelph family during a time when Florence was divided politically between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. The Guelphs were supporters of the papacy and the church, and were against the change of the renaissance. He grew up in Florence and had a very comfortable life. He was one of the six priors, who were the political leaders of the time. However, all that changed toward the latter part of his life when he decided to be more neutral.

Dante, contrary to popular opinion, did not hate the Church.

Although he did disagree with some of the Popes, he really thought that they had potential. He believed that the church was inherently good and that if it worked together as one, with the pope, then it would be able to grow and become a functioning part of society. He believed that the only way to do this was by setting a good example through their actions. What he thought was wrong with the church was that it had problems when it came to issues of money, in particular greed, and politics. He believed that the reason for the problems stemmed from the fact that it was run by men who were filled with a lust for money and power. He thought that this was because it was in their nature as humans. He thought that the Church as a whole...