Divine Comedy-I: Inferno

Dante, Farinata, and Florence: An Analysis of the Opposing Forces with a Common Goal

Dante's Inferno is a classic work of the Christian author, depicting his fictitious journey through the hierarchical levels of Hell in the year 1300 AD. As Dante travels down through the underworld, he stops at each stage of condemnation, often talking to some of the pitiful sinners, learning about their crimes and the punishments God has damned them to for eternity. The sinners to whom Dante chooses to speak are generally real people, well known in Dante's 14th century Florence for their political significance, or for their infamous transgressions. These conversations add a depth of realism to the otherwise fantastic and imagined journey that is the Inferno. One such sinner with whom Dante speaks is Farinata degli Uberti, in life a noble Florentine and chief of the Ghibelline faction, a proimperial political party; however, in death, Farinata wallows in the sixth circle of Hell, where the heretics dwell. Dante had his loyalties to his family's party, the Guelphs, a party that desired papal supremacy; however, Dante holds more sympathy than hate for the man who "loves his noble fatherland more than he hates his Florentine enemies" (Sinclair, 141). Dante overlooks the injustices the Ghibellines performed...

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