The Divine Comedy By Dante Alighieri Essay

1302 Words Nov 6th, 2014 null Page
“Inferno”: A Polysemous Literary Work In the Divine Comedy written by Dante Alighieri, the title of this epic poem may imply that this timeless piece of literary work contains the writings of wit and humor. However, the beginning of the poem begins with Dante waking up “Midway upon the journey of our life” in a dark forest before embarking on a journey through nine circles of hell (Longfellow 7). The Divine Comedy is composed of three segments: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. While the poem is arranged into three different divisions Inferno is the “part that has been met with most fervent critical response” (Lummus 63). One reason for such critical response may be because Dante is not only the author of Inferno; he is also the poem’s protagonist. Dante also uses the poem as an allegorical meaning to the events that were taking place in his life. During the time that Dante wrote Inferno he was living in exile from his beloved city of Florence. Dante was banished from Florence and was told that if he attempted to come back that he would be burned at the stake. Dante placing himself in hell can be seen as allegoristic as to being banished from a city that he really loved. Throughout the entirety of Inferno the poem illustrates extensive allegory. Dante not only incorporates the experiences of his life into Inferno, he also includes people that he loved or that were important to him throughout the poem. For example, Dante assigns the Roman poet Virgil to serve as his guide…

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