The Inferno Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri • Italian poet • 1265 to 1321 • one of the greatest poets of the Middle Ages • exiled from Florence due to political activism.
Florentine Politics • Italy divided into many town councils • 2 main powers • Pope (church) • Guelphs • Emperor (Holy Roman Emperor) • Ghibellini
Florentine Politics • Guelphs gained power and divided • Whites • Emperor • Blacks • Pope • Dante White Guelph • Opposed Bonifacio VIII’s • Balcks gain power and Dante accused of fraud • Fine and 2 year exile • Refuses= penalty of death • Never returns to Florence
Florentine Poetry • Stilnovo (new style) • Dante, Guido Cavalcanti and Cino da Pistoia • Speak and celebrate love • Sort of god able to save man
The Inferno • The Inferno is the first book in Dante Alighieri's famous trilogy The Divine Comedy; the other two books are Purgatorio and Paradiso. • The Divine Comedy is made up of 100 Cantos -- 33 in each section plus one extra in The Inferno. • Written in the vernacular Italian, not Latin, in a verse form having three rhymes called terza rima.
The Inferno • Characters • Dante • Figures from mythology, ancient Rome (Virgil-classical reasoning), Christian theology and "real life" Florence (Beatrice-faith). • The sinners in the Inferno are punished according to an elaborate scheme of symbolic retribution--you reap what you sow!
Poetic Forms • allegory- An expression, by means of symbolic fictional characters and actions, of truths about human conduct and experience. • terza rima- An Italian form iambic poetry having sets of three lines, the middle line of each set rhyming with the first and last of the succeeding: ababcbcdc. It was invented by Dante. • epic poem-A long narrative poem with an exalted style, theme, and hero.
Key Facts • NARRATOR - Dante recounts his trip through Hell, looking back on it after an indeterminate period of time. • POINT OF VIEW - account of his own experiences, first person from a subjective point of view, insight into his emotions and motivations. • TONE - moralistic tone, expresses a belief in, and awe for, the perfection of divine justice.
Overview • Dante becomes lost in the woods. • Beatrice (greatest love of his life) and 2 other holy women see this and send Virgil to guide him. • Virgil- great Roman poet • Virgil guides Dante through the depths of Hell to see the sinners and their punishments; the punishments symbolize the sins.
Key Terms • Inferno • Moral redemption • Symbolic retribution
Themes • The Inferno • Deeper meaning of the trials of the human soul to achieve morality and find unity with God. • These allegorically represent the trials of the human soul to achieve morality and find unity with God.
Realms of Hell • Incorporates the 7 deadly sins • Pride/ vanity - excess in one’s own beliefs • Envy • Gluttony- inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires • Lust- pleasures of the body • Wrath/ Anger • Greed • Sloth- avoidance of physical or spiritual work.