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Inferno Dante Alighieri

Inferno Dante Alighieri

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Inferno Dante Alighieri

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  1. InfernoDante Alighieri

  2. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) • Born in Florence, Italy (Tuscany) • Attended University of Bologna • Studied Tuscan painting, Greek and Roman mythology, philosophy, music, and poetry, especially that of Homer and Virgil. • Wrote poetry in his vernacular language (Italian) instead of Latin • Wanted literature to be experienced by all Italians, not just the learned class

  3. Marriage and Family • In 1285, Dante entered an arranged marriage with Gemma Donati, a noblewoman • They had two sons, Jacopo and Pietro, and a daughter, Antonia • Dante’s great love was Beatrice Portinari, whom he met as a young boy • Beatrice was Dante’s inspiration for writing • After her death in 1290, he dedicated a famous work La Vita Nuova to her

  4. Historical Context • 12-13th century Florence was a place of political turbulence • Warring groups • Ghibellines wanted Holy Roman Emperor in power • Guelphs wanted the Pope to control politics • Guelphs won, but then split into two factions • Black Faction supported the Pope and Church • White Faction supported the Emperor

  5. Dante’s Unfortunate Luck • Guess which side Dante was on? Dante favored the Guelphs - White Faction • Pope Boniface VIII favored the Guelphs - Black Faction. He excommunicated his opponents • Dante was exiled from Florence in 1302. He would have been burned at the stake if he ever returned to Florence. • Lived in exile for the remainder of his life

  6. Importance of Florence, Italy • Dante took his exile from his beautiful homeland to heart • Embittered by his political experiences in Florence, he took up his pen • Used literature to expose and punish those who had wronged him • The Divine Comedypresents a symbolic view of his life and political situation

  7. The Divine Comedy ( 1321) • The Divine Comedy is a 3-part epic poem written by Dante • Inferno (Hell) • Purgatorio (Purgatory) • Paradiso (Paradise) • Epic characteristics • Elevated style • Hero as subject • Vast, dangerous setting • Supernatural beings • Not exactly hilarious, but fits medieval definition of “comedy” • Begins in tragedy (Hell), ends happily (Heaven) • Mixed narrative and dialogue in the poem

  8. Themes to consider • Spirituality • Picaresque (an adventurer or rogue figure takes a journey) • Reversal of fortune (character’s situation changes due to events in novel) • Survival of the fittest (character must endure difficulty and challenge)

  9. Literary Terms • Epic – long, narrative poem presenting characters of high positions in series of supernatural adventuresin a vast and dangerous setting. • Canto – a section or division of a long poem • Terza Rima – 3-line stanza form popular with Italian poets. • Rhyme scheme: aba, bcb, cdc, ded, etc.; usually iambic pentameter • Allusion – a reference in a literary work to another person, place or thing in history or in another work of literature • Imagery – language that affects the five senses • Mythology – the myths dealing with gods and goddesses of ancient Rome and Greece • Metaphor – a figure of speech comparing two unlike things without using like or as • Simile – a figure of speech comparing two unlike two unlike things using like or as • Personification – a figure of speech in which animals, ideas, and inanimate objects are given human form • Allegory – a narrative or character with meaning other than the literal one • Symbolism – The use of one object to represent another concept, theme, or object

  10. Numerology: The Power of 3 • The number 3 is central to Dante’s work • Christian concept of the “trinity” • Divine Comedy is in 3 parts • Each part is made of 33 cantos (chapters) • In each canto, stanzas are 3 lines of verse (terzarima) • Dante’s spiritual quest through hell takes place over 3 days • Good Friday to Easter Sunday 1300

  11. TerzaRima • Terza=three, rima=rhyme • Italian form of poetry in sets of 3 lines • Invented by Dante Alighieri and used by many Italian poets • Usually in iambic pentameter (unstressed followed by stressed syllables) • Follows this rhyme scheme: aba bcbcdc

  12. Example from Inferno of Terza Rima In middle of the journey of our days I found that I was in a darksome wood The right road lost and vanished in the maze Ah me! how hard to make it understood How rough that wood was, wild, and terrible; By the mere thought my terror is renewed. More bitter scarce were death. But ere I tell At large of good which there by me was found I will relate what other things befell

  13. Example from Inferno of Terza Rima In middle of the journey of our days A I found that I was in a darksome wood B The right road lost and vanished in the maze A Ah me! how hard to make it understood B How rough that wood was, wild, and terrible; C By the mere thought my terror is renewed. B More bitter scarce were death. But ere I tell C At large of good which there by me was found D I will relate what other things befell C

  14. Allusions • Allusions, or references the author makes to other people, characters, and literary works, will be made throughout Inferno to • Political leaders • Religious leaders • Literary works and authors • Bible • Mythology – Greek and Roman • Dante’s personal life, including his great love, Beatrice, and favorite poet, Virgil

  15. Allegory • An allegory is the discussion of one subject by disguising it as another, which resembles the first in a striking way • e.g., school as prison • Allegories teach moral lessons • Use of the visible, physical reality to explain the invisible or intangible • e.g., Greek gods

  16. Inferno: Basic Premise • Surface Story: • On Good Friday, Dante, age 35, finds himself lost and directionless in a dark forest • At the request of Beatrice ( “Divine Love” who resides in heaven), the ancient Roman poet Virgil ( “Reason” who inhabits a blameless region of hell as an unbaptized virtuous pagan) searches for the lost Dante. • On Good Friday 1300, Virgil finds Dante and they undertakes a quest for belonging and salvation (hell  paradise) • Symbolic Story (allegory): • Journey begins in despairing world not yet redeemed by Christ and ends with the poet’s return, having seen the divine grace of God

  17. Important Characters • Dante: Author and Protagonist • Virgil: Dante’s guide through hell and purgatory • Real Virgil died in 19 BCE: admired by Dante and held significance as pre-Christian prophet • Allegorically represents REASON • Beatrice: Dante’s star-crossed love and guide through Paradise • Allegorically represents DIVINE LOVE

  18. Dante’s Master Plan of Hell

  19. Essential Questions • How can literature be used as a tool for social change? • How does allegory help explain the intangible? • Which traits, or “sins,” are part of our universal human experience?

  20. Download ePUB file for iBooks copy of Inferno • Choose EPUB (with images)