Divine Comedy-I: Inferno

Character Development in Dante's Inferno College

Literature has many essential elements like theme, plot, structure, and character development. But in The Inferno by Dante there is said to be little to no character development. So the question must be asked: is character development actually necessary for the development of a storyline in major literary works? Or is the lack of character development just a result of the episodic structure throughout Dante's epic Renaissance poem? The entire composition focuses on Dante’s exploration of the afterlife; the departed are condemned to retain all of the features that they possessed on Earth, and many of these features remain remarkably static.

The Inferno centers on two main characters, Dante himself, and Virgil, his guide through the underworld. The narration of the book follows Dante and Virgil’s physical journey in life and through the underworld rather than their psychological dynamics from the journey. By having the main focus on their journey throughout the underworld puts more emphasize on the end of their voyage rather than their development throughout the journey, therefore minimizing the effect that character development would have on the audience.

Another aspect in the novel that is responsible for the lack of character...

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