What is the main idea of the book?
The Divine Comedy is an epic poem by Dante Alighieri narrated in the first person by the poet as a recall of his journey (Durling, 1996, p.8). The poem was written in Italy in the late middle ages whose setting is in a forest of darkness in a Good Friday, then proceeds to hell and lastly Dante ascends into heaven. In 1265, Dante was born in Florence and was recognized as one of the best poets in the Italian literature with his highlight being The Divine Comedy.
Dante grew up in not very conducive conditions since during his time, Italy experienced political upheavals and even got married through an arranged marriage to Gemma di Manetto Donati but later fell in love with Beatrice who constantly appears in his poetry (Alighieri, 2008, p. 13). Besides The Divine Comedy, Dante also did La Vita Nuova and other minor works. Dante died soon after completion of The Divine Comedy in Florence and buried in Ravenna. This essay will focus on the main idea in Dante’s The Divine Comedy with specific emphasis on examples in the text.
The main idea in Dante’s The Divine Comedy is essentially how people learn to attain salvation. It gives a long narration of how Dante’s pilgrim goes through hell in Inferno and gives such a figurative picture of how sinners suffer without any hope of redemption. Dante gives such a vivid description of the sins committed by different people not in a bid to scare the reader but to caution against sin and how to avoid it (Durling, 1996, p. 18).
Dante symbolically uses hell as the setting as the final destination of all sinners. In fact, everyone is punished in accordance to their sins. For example, in circle IV, those who squandered money and those who were misers were to bombard each other without ceasing by use of huge stones which expressed their antagonistic behaviors between excessive squandering and extreme hoarding. On the other hand, thieves were to be cut their hands which they essentially used to steal and their bodies were to be intertwined with snakes (Alighieri, 2008, p. 73).
Later in Ptolemaic cosmos, Dante brings a whole new picture of heaven and describes it in celestial spheres including the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars Jupiter and Saturn. By use of these, Dante exposes the reader to much imagination and perception (Durling, 1996, p.61). He further uses symbolism in a creative way where he exemplifies God’s glory by use of the celestial rose which is a circle of light which signifies salvation.
Conclusively, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is a masterpiece with its major idea being how to attain salvation. Dante uses many stylistic devices and symbols to bring up such a vivid picture of heaven and hell and leaves the reader to decide which side he wants to belong but lays much emphasis on the beauty of heaven and the agony in hell.
Alighieri, D. (2008). The Divine Comedy. South Carolina. SC: BiblioBazaar.
Durling, R. (1996). The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Volume 1: Inferno. United Kingdom, UK: Oxford University Press.
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Essay about The Divine Comedy
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Winston Churchill once said: "If you are going through hell, keep going." If you were to describe Dante’s Divine Comedy as simply as possible you would use this quote. However, Dante’s Divine Comedy has never been that simple. Sure, it is about religion and hell and heaven. But it is also about political ideas. The way spirituality and politics commingle in Dante’s world has interested literature fiends and political theorists alike. So what exactly is Dante’s Divine Comedy? How did Dante’s everyday life affect this piece of literature? And most importantly, what were the political ideas Dante managed to weave into his story powered by religion?
Dante’s Divine Comedy is a narrative about how Dante goes through hell and finally manages to…show more content…
In fact, Dante was directly involved in politics throughout the majority of his life. (Bergin 113).
Dante grew up in Florence, Italy and his family belonged to the politically dominant Guelf party. At the time, the Guelf party had complete control over Florentine politics. However a power struggle began within the Guelf party, and extended feuds and quarrels led them to split into two major groups: The Blacks and the Whites.
It is controversial when Dante first became involved in politics, but most theorists agree that it was when his love, Beatrice died. Dante was so completely devastated by her untimely death that politics became a distraction. He immersed himself in politics, and finally began playing an active role in 1295. His connection with the Guelf party led him to be a political influence in Florentine. Within the two major groups of the Whites and the Blacks, Dante sided with the Whites.
However, six years later in 1301 the Black’s suppressed the White’s in a political battle and all prominent Whites—including Dante were exiled from Florence (Farnell 15-21). At that time, exile from his hometown was devastating but it eventually became to be a blessing.
His travels to other states gave him awareness about the disorder in public life, both politically and spiritually. Dante realized that the problems in Florence didn’t just occur there, the same major problems occurred almost everywhere. He sought the source of