Divine Comedy - Autobiographical Journey in Dante’s Inferno Essay

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Dante’s Inferno - Autobiographical Journey


The Inferno is more than just a fictional story about someone traveling through the universe. It is actually more like an autobiographical journey of life through its author, Dante Alighieri’s eyes. Written in the early 1300s by a disgruntled Dante living in exile, he literally describes a man who has been trapped, and must find a way to escape. Allegorically, he’s telling us about the terrible moment of crisis that occurs in each one of our lives “when evil inside and outside of ourselves seems to block any hope for further constructive development”. Written originally as a long poem separated into cantos or songs, he basically wrote with the personal purpose of recording where
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Whether they were someone that betrayed him in his political career or the girl that he fell in love with when he was 9 years old, he found a way to integrate them into the Inferno. As we noticed in this allegory, Dante considers trust and loyalty to be one of the most important human characteristics. He basically felt this way due to the point that he was betrayed and exiled away from his beloved homeland. It is because of this that he places perpetrators of breaking these at the center of hell. Examples of this would be the political grafters who were damned to spend eternity boiling in pitch or Archbishop Ruggieri who betrayed Count Ugolino having his brain being gnawed out. To Dante, these eternal punishments fit the crime that was committed by these sinners. Not all of the references Dante used were negative though. In a later part of the Divine Comedy, he represents his platonic love, Beatrice, as an angel guide to heaven. By using these representations, Dante lets us peer into his mind and understand how he felt.

In a few instances, Dante shows signs of the times in which the Inferno was written. This piece is loaded with numerous allegories that are references to the middle ages. One of these includes Dante’s conception of the universe. The way Hell is in the center with nine rings surrounding it, leads us to believe that he was using the

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