Sympathy For Dante's Inferno

Great Essays
Literature
The poet and the pilgrim both show sympathy towards Dante the Pilgrim’s guide, Virgil, also known as Vergil. Virgil was one of the greatest Roman poets, and while living in Rome he attained a thorough knowledge of Greek and Roman authors and poets (Schoder 414). He was also trained in rhetoric and philosophy (Williams). He wrote the Aeneid, in which Dante was very fond of and saw Virgil as the highest level of achievement and human intelligence (Schoder 414). Because of these reasons, Virgil fit Dante’s poetic purpose, making him fit to be Dante the Pilgrim’s guide in Inferno. He also served as a tutor, inspiration, and as an ideal representation of a poet to Dante (Schoder 414). When the pilgrim first sees him, the pilgrim cries
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He warns him of the desperate cries, the ancient spirits, and the souls who cry for a second death. He also tells Dante of the spirits who hope to be with the blessed someday, which is why they burn in peace (Inf.). From this point on in the “The Divine Comedy,” Virgil and Dante begin their journey through Inferno. The pilgrim was not the only one who has appointed Virgil as his guide, but an angelic and divine being named Beatrice had pleaded Virgil to be the pilgrim’s guide. Virgil tells Dante that Beatrice has visited him and told him that Dante had strayed from the right path and was in need of his guidance to make it to Paradiso (Inf.). With Virgil’s guidance, the divine beings have granted Dante the passage through the Inferno and to make his way to …show more content…
Sin binds Virgil and Dante to Limbo/Inferno and categorizes them together. They experience the painful sights of harsh punishments towards souls that have committed wicked sins, and they feel sympathy together overall the punished spirits of the underworld. He is considered by Dante “the wide sea of knowledge,” “renowned sage,” and “the noble thinker who knew all things (Inf.)” Through these comments, it is apparent that Dante, both as the poet and character, highly admire the Roman poet and his intelligence. Some scholars have noted that it is worth examining why Virgil, a pagan sinner, is chosen to lead the pilgrim, since he lived at the turning point in history, from paganism to Christianity. Schoder, in “Vergil in the Divine Comedy,” writes that some scholars have examined that Dante as the poet was attempting to associate himself with the author of the Aeneid. The Aeneid, which was written by Virgil, is a heroic poem written in Latin between 29 and 19 BC. It tells of Rome’s heroic and legendary forefather, the Trojan hero Aeneas who travelled to Italy to become the ancestor of the Romans (Williams). The Aeneid is what brought Virgil to ultimate fame, and brought Alighieri’s admiration upon him. Schoder that because of this, Alighieri believed this would give “The Divine Comedy” more credit and belief. However this may be sound plausible and reasonable, there are other

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