Thesis Statement: Through The Divine Comedy, Dante powerfully speaks out about his triumph over his personal disaster, thus making the epic poem a true “divine comedy.”
I. Childhood A. Birth 1. Florence, Italy 2. May/June of 1265 3. Born into a low-aristocracy family of the Guelfo party B. Family 1. Mother- Bella, died before he was 14 2. Father died prior to 1283 3. Had a step brother and step sister although he did not mention them in any of his works C. Beatrice Portinari- his muse from the age of nine until after her death in 1290 D. his life was shaped by the long history of conflict between the Ghibellines and Guelfs.
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ii. he has two guides- Virgil who leads him through Hell and Puragatory and Beatrice- who leads him to Paradise iii. takes place from Good Friday evening in 1300 through Easter Sunday 6. Virgil was a Roman Author that represents Dante’s homeland and his background in the poem 7. Beatrice is Dante lost love that represents a better path for him to take 8. Inferno i. this visit is a painful but necessary act before real recovery can begin ii. it represents a false start during which Dante must be disabused of harmful values that somehow prevent him from rising above his fallen iii. he speaks of meeting with his great teacher but this is not simply just a meeting with a teacher it’s an encounter with an entire generation with its intellectual mentor. iv. “But why retreat to so much misery?”- Dante is speaking of returning to his beloved home that has turned into nothing but misery to him v. “Virgil says “but you must journey down another road…” “if ever you hope to leave this wilderness.”- Virgil is saying that in order to get out of his misery and find another home Dante must travel another path and forget about the hurt he was caused. vi. “I was a poet and sang of that just man…”- here Dante speaks of how he was wrongly committed and how ignorant he