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Welcome To Hell

All about Dante and his trip through the 9 levels of hell. The book is most often described as an Inferno of a read.
by

Katie Hinh

on 17 December 2012

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Transcript of Welcome To Hell

INFERNO by Dante Alighieri Plot Summary Dante is a pilgrim lost in the woods. He is trying to reach the top of a mountain and his way is blocked by three beasts. He then meets Virgil, the author of the Aeneid, and Virgil claims that he will guide him back to the top of the mountain. The journey however will lead them through Hell, in the Inferno, up the mountain, Purgatory, and eventually the top, Heaven. So Virgil then leads Dante through the gates of Hell and they begin their journey. As Dante goes through the levels, we see how different sins are punished and witness many of Dante's enemies, being punished. Upper Hell Lower Hell Setting Inferno is set in an undisclosed mountain/forest.
Dante and Virgil eventually descend down into Hell.
It turns out the terrain of Hell varies by level. Characters Well for starters there's Dante. The fun-loving pilgrim that just loses his way, way too often. Next is Virgil, the ever present ghost of limbo and spirit guide. He's always just a tad sullen and deppressed. Also many believe that he represents human reason and the human mind. Thesis Statement: In Dante's poem "The Inferno" is a religious testament to the time period as the poem details in the themes of divinity, morals, the belief of the infallibility of ones faith, and that along with divine mercy and love, there is divine punishment, that is unavoidable. Literary Devices Tone: A very prevalent literary device Dante uses to illustrate his point is imagery. One of the many examples of this is in the description of the ancient statue that stands deep within Mount Ida.

"In the mountain's core an ancient man stands tall;
he has his shoulder turned towards Damietta
and faces Rome as though it were his mirror.
His head is fashioned of the finest gold;
pure silver are his arms and hands and chest;
from there to where his legs spread, he is brass;
the rest of him is all of chosen iron,
except his right foot which is terra cotta;
he puts more weight on this foot than the other.
Every part of him, except the gold, is broken
by a fissure dripping tears down to his feet,
where they collect to erode the cavern's rock ..." ( Canto ll. 103-114) Imagery: Symbolism: The entire novel of the Inferno, is actually a symbol of a persons own spirtual quest, of finding divine answers through guidance (Virgil) and the faith in God.
Another symbol is the punishments of the sinners. The worse your sin is the greater the punishment symbolizing retribution for God's broken word.
Dante also uses the number three to help symbolize the holy trinity, for example, in Judecca, he uses Lucifer's three heads to mock the holy trinity. (Canto XXXIV) It should come to no surprise that in the Inferno, the tone starts in a more chastising tone. Dante is trying to be a teacher of morals and shed light on the punishments of those who go againest God. Also Dante's tone changes as the book progress. In the early Cantos he talks about the sinners as if he pities them, but as he goes deeper into Hell, he loses simpathy for them and starts to embrace the punishments as penance for disobeying God. Dante then embraces the theme of divine justice and the belief of the infalliable church, and god. Poetic Form: It is said that Dante used/created his own rhyme scheme called terza rima. Terza rima is comprised of three line stanzas which combine iambic meter with a ryhme scheme. Within each stanza, the first and third lines rhyme. The rhyme scheme follows an ABA, BCB, CDC, DED,EFE, etc... Further more, terza rima is extremely difficult in English, so when reading Dante or other works of Italian literature, many translators drop the rhyme scheme, and make it into prose or unrhymed blank verse.
Also Dante writes in Cantos, basically like poetic chapters. Inferno is the only book with 34 Cantos, Purgatory and Paradise have only 33 Canto. English vs Italian Italian- Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
che la diritta via era smarrita.

Ahi quanto a dir cual era e cosa dura
esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
che nel pensier rinova la paura! English-Midway upon my journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
for the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah me! how hard a thing to say
what was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
which in the very thought renews fear. Main Character Development Dante, the main charcter, changes in the way he decides to accept God's punishment as justice. In Canto V Dante faints at the sight and thought of the lustful beingpunished, but later on in Canto XV Dante doesn't even flinch at the fact one of his greatest mentors and teachers is in Hell, for he believes that he deserves it. Allusions Dante alludes to many things, most common are the bible and the Greek and Roman legends. Even one of the main characters, Virgil, alludes to the Aeneid and Aeneas, a great character from ancient literature that also made a journey down into Hell. An example of a biblical allusion is to Pope Urban IV, in Canto XIX. Urban is in Hell for simony, along with Pope Clement V who Dante classified as even worse than Pope Urban IV. Clement V was the Pope who started the 70 years of "Babylonian captivity" of the church. Also on the Friday, October 13, 1307 Clement V had hundreds of France's Knights of the Templars arrested and killed for the "Church's benefit." Major Themes Obedience to God:
Dante was very strict about obeying God, and this was a very religious time period in itself. At this time in history the holiest man (Pope) had all the power. Even amongst Kings and Queens. Dante wanted to illustrate the disasters of not obeying God and the Church. Also latter on in Paradiso Dante relates the joys of obeying God. Think of this book almost like trying to scare the damned sinners straight, repent before your there for all eternity. Divine Mercy:
For Dante the Divine Light of God was in fallible, so it was important that God made every punishment fair for the sins that were committed. Dante made it so the punishment was not lighter or harsher than the original sin committed. Showing that God is fair in every way to all of the people, and that he is merciful even to sinners. Morality:
The entire Inferno is based around doing what is right, and doing what is wrong. Dante was trying to teach that living a good life by the bible was what was right and how everything else just landed you in Hell. Dante Virgil Clement V Urban IV Questions?
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