The Divine Comedy By Dante Alighieri

1445 words - 6 pages

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, Purgatory Dante's The Divine Comedy section of Purgatory is a depiction of Dante and his struggle to reach paradise. He is a character as well as a narrator. The purgatory section deals with the seven deadly sins and Dante's task of cleansing himself on his journey to heaven. He confronts many different people on his journey to self-righteousness, which help and guide him to his destiny. Accompanied by Virgil or reason as he is depicted, his quest is a hard journey with many answers to be found. Dante was born in May 1265 and lived his early life at a time of change and of great economic and cultural expansion in Florence (Kirkpatrick 2). The poet was critically aware of developments in Florentine poetry and painting (2). He also had an eye for the political scene as well. He was elected several times to one of the six priors that governed his republic. Dante had left the city for a short time when a revolt took place between the Black's and the Whites. Dante was exiled and sentenced to death for corruption. Little is known about Dante's personal life or family life. His mother died early in his childhood and his father died shortly after remarrying again in 1285 (Grandgent 2). He gained a half brother and half sister out of this marriage, but little is known of them either (2). There was possibly another sister but if she was from the first or second marriage, we do not know. Around 1277 Dante's father arranged Dante's marriage to Gemma, daughter of Manetto Donati. The approximate date of marriage is around 1283, but again not for certain. Dante had three children, two sons and a daughter who became a nun and changed her name to Beatrice (Foster 12 ). After Gemma's death, Dante began studying philosophy, which he soon seemed to fall in love with. Dante was never able to return to the city for fear of his life. He wandered for the next twenty years depending on patrons to help him survive. It is hard to find any documentation on Dante's journey outside of Florence. It is know that his last days were spent in Ravenna, under the watchful eye of Guido da Polenta. The city recognized him as a great poet and it was here the last of The Divine Comedy was written. Dante died shortly after finishing his final and best work in 1322. His ashes are still buried next to the church of San Francesco. Dante's Purgatory section of The Divine Comedy covers Dante's journey through Purgatory and the challenges he faces. Purgatory was an island with a huge mountain towering from it. At the top was Paradise or heaven. It was sealed off by a gate with angles guarding the entrance. The bottom was antepurgatory where the souls that were not ready for the journey resided. The mountain itself was composed of seven concentric ledges separated by steep cliffs. On each ledge, one of the seven capital sins waited on a soul. They were composed of Pride, Envy, Wrath Sloth, Avarice, Gluttony, and Lust....

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