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The Divine Comedy The Inferno By Dante Alighieri

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  • Slide 1
  • The Divine Comedy The Inferno By Dante Alighieri
  • Slide 2
  • Dantes letter to Can Grande (epigraph) He was the ruler of Verona(1308-1320). He is Dantes vision of wisdom and virtue The subject of the whole work, then, taken in the literal sense alone, is simply The state of souls after death, If the work be taken allegorically, the subject is Man- as, according to his merits or demerits in the exercise of his free will, he is subject to reward or punishment by Justice
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  • Works Cited Mazzotta, Giuseppe, edit, A Norton Critical Edition: Inferno, The Contrapasso and the relation between poetic details and structure, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 Mazzotta, Giuseppe, edit, A Norton Critical Edition: Inferno, The Contrapasso and the relation between poetic details and structure, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2008
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  • Dantes life Born 1265-1321 in Florence Born 1265-1321 in Florence Family was of a lesser nobility Family was of a lesser nobility Joined the military in 1289(cavalry) Joined the military in 1289(cavalry) Took part in politics(prior) Took part in politics(prior) 1300 he was 1 of 6 priors in charge of government issues 1300 he was 1 of 6 priors in charge of government issues 1302 sent from Florence on a diplomatic mission to Rome. When he returned an opposing faction was in power 1302 sent from Florence on a diplomatic mission to Rome. When he returned an opposing faction was in power Pope Boniface VIII supported the new power Pope Boniface VIII supported the new power Dante was sentenced to death if he ever returned to Florence Dante was sentenced to death if he ever returned to Florence
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  • Background (cont.) so he lived his life as a wanderer. so he lived his life as a wanderer. and bitter, craving justice and bitter, craving justice Buried in Ravenna Buried in Ravenna Betrothed to Gemma Donati at 12, married at 20/an unhappy marriage Betrothed to Gemma Donati at 12, married at 20/an unhappy marriage 2 sons maybe 2 daughters 2 sons maybe 2 daughters One of the most learned men of the Middle Ages One of the most learned men of the Middle Ages
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  • Dantes Death Mask Dantes death Mask in the Pallazza Vecchio
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  • The times: imagine a triangle God at the top of a triangle the pope on one side, the emperor on the other The pope is the spiritual head of the Church The emperor the head of state The pope wants both sets of power Both answer to God Dante has the opposite view of the Pope. Not good for Dante
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  • Two political powers Guelfi in favor of Pope Ghibellini in favor of emperor Then the Guelfi split into 2 parties: The whites (emperor) The blacks(Pope) Dante was a white Guelfo Dante was accused of barratry
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  • The issue of Beatrice Dante wrote poetry in his youth Dante wrote poetry in his youth He fused courtly love with chivalric love with philosophical love, with spiritual and divine love. He fused courtly love with chivalric love with philosophical love, with spiritual and divine love. Love is the instrument to real God Love is the instrument to real God He devoted his writing to Bice Portinari, a real woman, and his symbol of divine beauty and wisdom He devoted his writing to Bice Portinari, a real woman, and his symbol of divine beauty and wisdom Beatrice means bringer of blessings Beatrice means bringer of blessings
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  • Beatrice (cont) Dante met Beatrice at age 9 and fell in love Dante met Beatrice at age 9 and fell in love He met her again nine years later (probably at her own marriage). It is said that she laughed at his adoration, causing him embarrassment He met her again nine years later (probably at her own marriage). It is said that she laughed at his adoration, causing him embarrassment This crisis becomes the catalyst for Vita Nuova, which is his account, fiction and truth of his love for Beatrice This crisis becomes the catalyst for Vita Nuova, which is his account, fiction and truth of his love for Beatrice He completes this work at age 27 and felt nothing he ever wrote could surpass this work He completes this work at age 27 and felt nothing he ever wrote could surpass this work Beatrice becomes his ideal. He places his joy into something that can never fail him. Beatrice becomes his ideal. He places his joy into something that can never fail him. She marries banker Simone de Bardi and dies in 1290 She marries banker Simone de Bardi and dies in 1290 He writes the book from 1290-1300 He writes the book from 1290-1300
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  • The Divine Comedy Dante is fascinated by political issues Dante is fascinated by political issues Conflicts between the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire Conflicts between the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire Conflicts that led to his exile Conflicts that led to his exile The Divine Comedy is an allegory The Divine Comedy is an allegory It is a journey through the future world It is a journey through the future world It is the first important composition in Italian It is the first important composition in Italian
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  • The Apostles Creed What Catholics believed I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord Who was conceived by the Holy ghost, born of the Virgin Mary: Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into Hell; The third day and he rose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almightly: From thence he shall come and judge the quick and the dead: I believe in the Holy Ghost: I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints: The forgiveness of sins: The resurrection of the body: And the life everlasting. Amen
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  • Characters All can have double or triple meetings All can have double or triple meetings Dante is Mankind Dante is Mankind Virgil is Dantes guide. He is Reason, Philosophy, or/and the Roman Empire. In the poem he is pagan (denied salvation b/c he is born before the coming of Jesus as the Christ Virgil is Dantes guide. He is Reason, Philosophy, or/and the Roman Empire. In the poem he is pagan (denied salvation b/c he is born before the coming of Jesus as the Christ Beatrice is Revelation, theology, the Church Beatrice is Revelation, theology, the Church Cato is free will Cato is free will Punishments are all symbolic Punishments are all symbolic 2 journeys: escape the dark woods, descent into Hell 2 journeys: escape the dark woods, descent into Hell The way up is down The way up is down You must ascend to the truth by accepting humility You must ascend to the truth by accepting humility Characters are presented as if they are at odds with one another Characters are presented as if they are at odds with one another Dante takes sides, condemns, judges Dante takes sides, condemns, judges
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  • The classical poets that Dante admired Homer intimate knowledge of the Greeks Homer intimate knowledge of the Greeks Horace a satirist, a moralist Horace a satirist, a moralist Ovid the most widely read Roman poet, a keen source for mythology Ovid the most widely read Roman poet, a keen source for mythology Lucan expert on Roman civil wars Lucan expert on Roman civil wars Virgil the greatest influence on Dante, master of classical verse, legends of Rome Virgil the greatest influence on Dante, master of classical verse, legends of Rome St. Augustine: great Roman philosopher; obected to the imperial ideology of Rome St. Augustine: great Roman philosopher; obected to the imperial ideology of Rome
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  • Stilnovo (new style) Dante invents this new poetical movement Dante and his friend Guido Cavalcanti were the most important Stilnovo poets This movement was used to speak about love, to celebrate it Call it love theory Love is the ideal, it will save man; women are examples of purity A lover must comes to terms with his owns flaws to be worthy of the woman he loves This is Dantes first major work
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  • The architectural structure of the poem Relationship of three to one Relationship of three to one Trinity to Unity Trinity to Unity Medieval writers loved numbers and symmetry Medieval writers loved numbers and symmetry Numbers 10 and 100 Numbers 10 and 100 100 Cantos 100 Cantos 3 places 3 places 3 line stanzas (terzine) tercets 3 line stanzas (terzine) tercets Rhyme scheme: terza rima: aba/bcb/cdc Rhyme scheme: terza rima: aba/bcb/cdc First and third lines rhyme, second line rhymes with first and second lines of next stanza First and third lines rhyme, second line rhymes with first and second lines of next stanza
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  • Sin Failing as a person Dante believed people have free agency to commit sin There are sins of incontinence (human nature/cant help yourself) And sins of malice (failure of human intellect/you know exactly what you are doing) The clich: love the sinner not the sin, DOES NOT apply to people who do not accept Gods grace according to Dante
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  • SALIGIA Superbia pride Superbia pride Avarita greed Avarita greed Luxuria lust Luxuria lust Invidia envy Invidia envy Gula gluttony Gula gluttony Ira wrath Ira wrath Acedia sloth Acedia sloth
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  • Contrapasso No individual punishment matters No individual punishment matters Justice matters Justice matters sins were chosen sins were chosen Justice demands the damned be punished because they are beyond change Justice demands the damned be punished because they are beyond change If they were capable of change/repentance then they would not be punished eternally If they were capable of change/repentance then they would not be punished eternally
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  • Examples? The lustful are driven by a whirlwind The lustful are driven by a whirlwind The violent are surrounded by boiling water The violent are surrounded by boiling water Traitors are set in ice Traitors are set in ice Think about each of these punishments Think about each of these punishments
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  • 100 Cantos 34 Inferno .Here there are 9 circles of Hell plus the vestibule(Limbo) 34 Inferno .Here there are 9 circles of Hell plus the vestibule(Limbo) Upper Hell (incontinence), circles I-V Upper Hell (incontinence), circles I-V Lower Hell (malice, violence and fraud) circles VI-IX Lower Hell (malice, violence and fraud) circles VI-IX 33 Purgatory9 divisions plus the Garden of Eden 33 Purgatory9 divisions plus the Garden of Eden 33 Paradise9 revolving heavens plus Empyrean (absolute heaven) 33 Paradise9 revolving heavens plus Empyrean (absolute heaven) Dante followed the Ptolemaic system Dante followed the Ptolemaic system Satan: frozen to above his waist in ice with vast bat like wings that create blasts of evil Satan: frozen to above his waist in ice with vast bat like wings that create blasts of evil
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  • Most political Cantos VI VI X XIII XIII XV Why? XV Why? XVI XVI XXXIII XXXIII
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  • Our Story .starts with Dante lost in a world of worldliness and sin. Dante spends a night in this wooded area and tries to climb unaided the Mountain of Righteousness. He has the shade of Virgil as his guide. .starts with Dante lost in a world of worldliness and sin. Dante spends a night in this wooded area and tries to climb unaided the Mountain of Righteousness. He has the shade of Virgil as his guide. Hell shows the consequences of our sin. We must see what that looks like. Hell shows the consequences of our sin. We must see what that looks like. Dante enters Hell on Good Friday, emerges at Purgatory just before sunrise on Easter Sunday Dante enters Hell on Good Friday, emerges at Purgatory just before sunrise on Easter Sunday
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  • Comedy Comos-oda Comos-oda A rustic song A rustic song A happy ending A happy ending The language of a comedy is humble not lofty The language of a comedy is humble not lofty