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Inferno

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:15 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.2 
  • Words: 1561
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Dante's "Inferno" was a great epic poem of the early Renaissance. It was known for its astute commentary on political and religious levels, both deeply woven into the work through allegory.




"Inferno," written in 1314 by Dante Alighieri, was the first canticle of the "Divine Comedy." Dante called it a comedy both because of its happy ending and its style, "which lies between that of the tragedy and that of the elegy."(Vossler, 665) Although most respected writers of the time wrote in Latin, Dante wrote the "Divine Comedy" in the vernacular Italian language so that the common man could read it. The fact that this masterpiece was written in the vernacular helped elevate Italian as the written language of their new age. From the misery and corruption surrounding him in his beloved Florence, he wrote the comedy because he wished to show the path to goodness, the salvation of the human soul "guided by both reason and divine grace."(Vossler, 665) Dante intended the work to be read on three levels: literal, allegorical, and moral. The work was structurally written in eleven syllable lines grouped in threes to make interlocking tercets. The rhyme scheme that he created f!




or this is called "terza rima"(Vossler, 664), which forms the words in the pattern aba-bcb-cdc-ded and so on. These are grouped into conceptual units of 150 lines each, called cantos. The entire "Divine Comedy" has one hundred cantos, consisting of one introductory canto and three "principal divisions"(Vossler, 664) or canticles of thirty-three cantos each.




In the spring of 1265 Dante was born to a modest noble Florentine family called Alighieri. Even though they were nobles, the family had lost its riches and high social stature through the generations. His mother died when he was young and his father is not often mentioned. He received a careful education, although little of it is known precisely. His family's modest social standing did not prevent him from...

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