Divine Comedy-I: Inferno

Father-Son Dependency between Virgil and Dante in Dante's Inferno

In Dante's Inferno, Virgil, the Roman poet, guides Dante through Hell. Virgil first encounters Dante at the beginning of Inferno when Dante strays from the True Way, a term used by Beatrice to represent a righteous and religious life. Beatrice, Dante's real-life love who resides in Heaven, becomes worried about Dante and urges Virgil to restore his morality and virtue. She tells Virgil, "my dearest friend [...] has strayed / onto a friendless shore and stands beset / by such distresses that he turns afraid / from the True Way" (Dante 36). Virgil rescues Dante, and these two characters develop a unique relationship as they journey towards the center of the Earth. Virgil shows Dante the consequences of sin and instructs him to speak with many of the suffering sinners they encounter. A biased relationship develops between the two characters, where one individual becomes more dependent on the relationship than the other. Specifically, a father and son relationship forms between Virgil and Dante. This kind of connection between the two main characters allows Virgil to show Dante how to find the True Way and implies a universal relationship between God and humanity.

It is apparent early in Inferno that Dante needs...

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