Divine Comedy-I: Inferno

The Transition from Pilgrim to Poet: How Virgil Converted Dante into a Believer in the Supremacy of Divine Justice College

The poet Dante, for all intents and purposes, is the God of The Inferno. He is the author, creator, and judge of all the sinners he has placed in his hell. Readers understand that the hell that pilgrim Dante is travelling through is the product of poet Dante’s thoughts and beliefs. The quintessential example of this phenomena is the presence of contrapasso in all of the circles, which indicate a very stern, fair justice that is harsh and unforgiving in who it chooses to punish. It may be said that Poet Dante’s character, if he were a character in The Inferno, would be the embodiment of divine justice- exhibiting a kind of cold perfection whose attitude mimics that of the angel in Canto IX. It becomes interesting, then, to examine the kind of effect that Poet Dante’s beliefs about humans has on his pilgrim counterpart. One way to think about this is through Pilgrim Dante’s struggle with the motion of pity, which is a focal point for much of his journey through hell. It soon becomes evident that Poet Dante uses Virgil as a way to guide him not only through hell, but morally as well, which leads him to the belief that the justice of heaven should be respected at all costs.

Pilgrim Dante is depicted in the beginning of The Inferno...

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