Divine Comedy-I: Inferno

Inferno: a Zeitgeist of Medieval Florence College

"Abandon all hope ye who enter here" reads the Gates of Hell in Dante Alighieri's The Inferno. After awakening at the bottom of a hill, Dante learns that he must descend through Hell, the Inferno, to reach Paradise. Virgil appears to Dante as his guide after Dante's vain attempt to climb the hill. The duo begins their plunge through the underworld and it quickly becomes apparent that Dante is the only living soul in Hell. Despite this fact, the two continue their journey through the Inferno, providing the reader with an in depth tour to the Dantean design of Hell. As the two travel through the different levels of Hell, Virgil introduces Dante to the sinners and punishments in each circle. The reader witnesses the emotional ups and downs as Dante empathizes with the sinners and eventually becomes callous to their suffering. The Inferno is the most popular installment in The Divine Comedy, and its fame has survived for over six centuries. The poem is a multi-layered allegory, which exists in a literary reality and contains religious, political, and spiritual references.

The Inferno is full of references to historical and literary characters. The protagonist, Dante, is not only the poet and narrator, but also the personification...

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