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Dante Alagheri’s The Divine Comedy

Dante Alagheri’s The Divine Comedy

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Dante Alagheri’s The Divine Comedy

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  1. Dante Alagheri’s The Divine Comedy World Literature

  2. The Divine Comedy • Comedy • Not humorous/slapstick/laugh-out-loud • A form of writing that begins in fear and ends happily. • Main character attains a happy ending – a healing vision of God – and receives a divine message to deliver.

  3. The Divine Comedy • The Inferno • Hell • The Purgatorio • Purgatory • The Paradisio • Paradise

  4. The Divine Comedy • Translations • Robert Pinsky (1994) • Dorothy Sayers (1949-62) • Terza rima • John Ciardi (1954-70) • Rhymed 1st and 3rd lines only • H.R. Huse • Literal prose translation • Allen Mandlebaum • Poetic prose • John D. Sinclair • Paragraph form

  5. The Divine Comedy • Parable • Political realities • Corruption vs. honesty • Moral realities • The freedom that comes from accepting just laws vs. the self-slavery of lawlessness • Mystical realities • The individual’s self-absorption vs. his trusting surrender to the divine

  6. The Divine Comedy • Dante said he wanted the poem to: • Liberate people still living in the world from a state of misery and lead them to a state of happiness. • Praise Beatrice and the saving graces he received through her.

  7. The Divine Comedy • Dante: • “The subject of the work, then, in its literal sense is the state of souls after death – and this is without qualification, since the whole progress of the work hinges on and about this subject. Whereas if the work is taken allegorically, the subject is this: man becoming liable to the justice which rewards and punishes, inasmuch as by the exercise of his freedom of choice he merits good or ill.” • letter to Can Grande

  8. On Dante: • Ruskin • “He is the central man of all the world, as representing in perfect balance the imaginative, moral and intellectual qualities all at their highest.” • Carlyle • Called it Dante’s “unfathomable love song.” • Emerson • The textbook for teaching the young the art of writing well. • Trotsky • Urged Marxist companions to study their Dante.

  9. Background • Guelphs • Anti-imperial/democratic attitude • Desired constitutional government • Represented indigenous peoples • Pro-pope (looked to him for support) • White • Wanted to minimize all outside interference • Black • Wanted to enhance their papal connections • Ghibellines • Pro-imperial • Represented aristocracy • Opposed papal territorial power • Expelled from Florence in 1289

  10. The Divine Comedy • Significance of the number Three • Reflects the mysterious reality of the Godhead • Each of the three parts contains 33 cantos • Basic unit of verse is the terzine • 33 syllables • 3 lines • Beatrice – associated with the number 9

  11. Dante The Inferno World Literature

  12. The Inferno: Canto I • Introduction to the entire Divine Comedy • Dark Woods • Good Friday, 1300 • April 8, 1300 • Catholic church’s first “Holy Year” • Jubilee period stressing spiritual repentance and renewal. • Dante is 35 years old

  13. The Inferno: Canto I • Dante • The poet who is also the Christian sinner • Virgil • The poet who is also human wisdom (the best a man can become without divine grace)

  14. The Inferno: Canto I • Poet feels alienated from the world • Poet feels fear (paura) • First 60 lines: • reflect the theme of man’s estrangement from God • Emphasize man’s dependence on the Divine • Last 76 lines: • Emphasize the human power to discover his true self

  15. The Inferno: Canto I • 3 beasts • 3 types of sin that will cast a soul into one of the three divisions of Hell • Leopard (lonza): lust (bodily pleasure) • Lion (leone): violence • Wolf (lupa): cupidity (desire for power/wealth)

  16. The Inferno: Canto I • 3-part Journey • I.105-119 • Hell – eternal place of despair • Purgatory – place where souls are in a temporary, purifying fire • Paradise (Heaven) – dwelling place of the everlastingly blessed

  17. The Inferno: Canto II • Dante invokes the Muses (II.7) • Allied with the arts as well as with religion. • Questions his worthiness to go on this quest. • Two others who had visited the other worlds while in the flesh. • Aeneas & Paul • Dante believed the Catholic church and the Roman Empire were divinely willed partners in the world’s salvation.

  18. Inferno: Canto II • Three ladies • Virgin (Mary) • Mercy • Prevenient grace (first impulse in a sinner to repent) • Lucia • Grace • Operant grace (allows sinner to desire good and do it) • Beatrice • Wisdom • Perficient grace (causes the penitent sinner to persist in the doing of good)

  19. Inferno: Canto III • Hell’s Gate: Entrance to Hell Proper • ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE. • Two sets of people at the entrance • Morally neutral • Continuously running around a plain just inside the gate. • Lived without praise or blame (thus, never truly lived) • Fallen angels who were neither for good or evil, only for themselves. • Hated by both God and His enemies • They would defile heaven • They don’t fit into Hell’s scheme (would give the wicked some element of glory) • Souls just arrived who gather to wait to be ferried across a river to their proper placements in Hell.

  20. The Structure of Dante’s Hell • Vestibule of Hell: The Uncommitted • Circle 1: Limbo • Circle 2: The Lustful • Circle 3: The Gluttons • Circle 4: The Avaricious and the Prodigal • Circle 5: The Wrathful and the Sullen • Circle 6: Heretics • Circle 7: The Violent • Circle 8: The Fraudulent • Circle 9: The Treacherous

  21. VESTIBULE Outer Rim of Hell GROUP I Passionless people who lived without place or blame Neither for good or evil Hateful to both God and his enemies (won’t fit into either Heaven or Hell) GROUP II Newly deceased who lived without reverence to God and who died unrepentant. Punishment (Group I) Endless running around a plain just inside the gate Tormented by hornets, wasps, worms Significant people: Fallen angels Celestine V Ponitus Pilate Outer Circle

  22. LIMBO Outskirts of Hell Proper Neutral, lifeless place Souls of unbaptized infants Virtuous pagans or honorable men who lived before Christ Punishment:None Suspended (sospesi) between the states of condemnation and salvation. Significant people: Virgil, the guide Homer Aristotle Saladin Euclid Circle 1

  23. Circle 2 • Minos: Judge of Hell • Each sinner confesses to him • Uses his tail to indicate the position of Hell the sinner is to occupy • Warns Dante not to go any further

  24. The Carnal Sinners LUSTFUL, SENSUAL Punishment: Exist in an eternal storm, blown about by the winds of a hurricane Reflects sexual sin and punishes it Significant people: Helen of Troy Achilles Cleopatra Paris Tristan Francesca and Paolo Murdered lovers Circle 2

  25. The Carnal Sinners: The GLUTTONOUS Sensual gratification Ate and drank unrepentantly to excess Punishment: Plagued with filthy rain, sleet, snow Wallow in mud and filth Cerberus, 3-headed dog, guard and punishment Claws the sinners Howls, making the souls howl Significant people: Ciacco Circle 3

  26. The Carnal Sinners: The AVARICIOUS (HOARDERS) The PRODIGAL (SPENDERS) Punishment: Deadlocked in a battle of opposites Push heavy stones in opposite direction “why do you hold?” “why do you spend?” Plutus (Greek god of wealth) demon-guard Significant people: Circle 4

  27. The River STYX WRATHFUL SULLEN Punishment: Wrathful Float in Styx Snarl and rend themselves Sullen Submerged in Styx Plutus (Greek god of wealth) demon-guard Significant people: Filippo Circle 5

  28. Dante and Virgil • Leave the circles of outer Hell • cross the Styx • Ferried by Phlegyas • Reach gate of inner Hell • City of Dis • Fallen angels hover above gates • Within gates are punished sins • VIOLENCE • FRAUD

  29. Dante and Virgil • Met by furies • Messenger of grace opens gates for them • Enter gates of lower Hell

  30. HERETICS Deniers of immortality Punishment: Flaming tombs Significant people: Cavalcanti Father of Dante’s friend Epicurus Emperor Frederick II “The Cardinal” Farinata degli Uberti Ghibilline leader Circle 6

  31. Dante and Virgil pause • Virgil explains the classification of the upcoming sins • 3 remaining circles to visit • 7th (Violence) • Injury to one’s neighbor or property • murder • Injury to one’s self or property • suicide • Injury done to God’s sovereignty • blasphemy • Injury to God’s child, nature • homosexual behavior • Injury to God’s grandchild, human industry • usury

  32. VIOLENT Those who harmed others (MURDER) Punishment: Submerged in boiling river of blood Centaurs shoot arrows at any who come up for relief Chiron is leader Significant people: Alexander the Great Attila the Hun Ezzelino Circle 7 (outer round)

  33. VIOLENT Those who harmed self (SUICIDE) Self-destructive Punishment: Gloomy wood Damned are trees Harpies nest in trees Those self-destructive: Chased by devil dogs and torn to pieces Significant people: Pier della Vigne Circle 7 (middle round)

  34. VIOLENT Those who were guilty of BLASPHEMY Punishment: Scorching desert Flakes of flame falling Lie down Significant people: Capaneus Circle 7 (outer round)

  35. Description of Giant • “Old Man of Crete” • Head: gold • Split by fissure • Endless tears flow down to frozen lake of Hell • Breast & Arms: silver • Torso: brass • Waist down: iron • Right foot: terra cotta • Rests most weight upon

  36. VIOLENT Those who were guilty of SODOMY Punishment: Scorching desert Flakes of flame falling Continuously running Significant people: Brunetto Latini Circle 7 (outer round)

  37. VIOLENT Those who were guilty of USURERY Lending money at any price Punishment: Scorching desert Flakes of flame falling Sit, bent over Eyes fixed on money pouches around their necks Significant people: Jacopo Rusticucci Guido Guerra Teggahiaio Aldobrandi Circle 7 (outer round)

  38. Geryon lowers Dante and Virgil to the next circle

  39. FRAUD PANDERERS Sell people for sexual favors pimps SEDUCERS Gain sexual favors for self Punishment: Whipped by horned demons Significant people: Venedico Jason Circle 8 (Malebolge): Pouch 1

  40. FRAUD FLATTERERS Punishment: Immersed in excrement Significant people: Thais Circle 8 (Malebolge): Pouch 2

  41. FRAUD SIMONIACS Those who corrupt the things of God Punishment: Immersed headfirst in holes Feet are burning Significant people: Pope Nicholas III Other popes Circle 8 (Malebolge): Pouch 3

  42. FRAUD SOOTHSAYERS MAGICIANS AUGERS Those who tried to make the mind of God subject to their will. Punishment: Heads on backwards Significant people: Manto Circle 8 (Malebolge): Pouch 4

  43. FRAUD GRAFTERS Political corruption Punishment: Boiling pitch Deceiving demons (Malebranche) poke anyone who tries to rise with pitchforks Significant people: Senator of Lucca Ciampolo of Navarre Circle 8 (Malebolge): Pouch 5

  44. FRAUD HYPOCRITES Punishment: Leaden cloaks Walk around narrow track Significant people: Caiaphas Annas monks Circle 8 (Malebolge): Pouch 6

  45. FRAUD THIEVES Punishment: Fiery serpents Wrapped around souls Hands bound behind them Bite souls who then burst into flames Significant people: Vanni Fucci Agnello Buoso Puccio Francesco de Cavalcanti Circle 8 (Malebolge): Pouch 7

  46. FRAUD EVIL ADVISERS Steal counsel of God for low purposes Punishment: Enflamed souls Significant people: Ulysses Diomedes Guido da Montefeltro Circle 8 (Malebolge): Pouch 8

  47. FRAUD DIVIDERS Tear apart what God has meant to be united SOWERS OF DISCORD Religious discord Political discord Family Discord Punishment: Mutilated Wounds are healed after making the full circult Wounds reopened by devil with sword Significant people: Muhammad Mosca Bertran de Born Circle 8 (Malebolge): Pouch 9

  48. FRAUD FALSIFIERS ALCHEMISTS IMPERSONATORS COUNTERFEITERS LIARS Punishment: Madness Ills of mind and body Significant people: Gainni Schicchi Capocchio Master Adam Potipher’s wife Sinon Circle 8 (Malebolge): Pouch 10

  49. Giant, Antaeus, lowers Dante and Virgil into the pit • Cocytus • frozen