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Durante degli Alighieri(from florence), was a major Italian poet of the Middle Ages.

His Divine Comedy, originally called Commedia and later called Divina by Boccaccio, is considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature In Italy he is known as il Sommo Poeta ("the Supreme Poet") or just il Poeta. Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are also known as "the three fountains" or "the three crowns". Dante is also called the "Father of the Italian language" The Divine Comedy was probably written between 1306 and 1321, although Dante may have begun writing the poem as early as 1300. The Divine Comedy ranks as one of the great literary masterpieces of all time alongside the epics of Homer and Virgil and the greatest plays of Shakespeare. The Divine Comedy was originally entitled La commedia di Dante Alighieri (The Comedy of Dante Alighieri). In 1555, when a special edition of the poem was published in Venice, its admirers added the word Divina (Divine) to the title to call attention to the greatness of the work. Thus, it became known as La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) and the author's name was dropped from the title. Settings The action takes place in 1300. It begins in the Forest of Darkness on Good Friday, the day commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, and ends the following Thursday. When Dante starts his journey, he is thirtyfive years old--exactly half the biblical life span of "three score years and ten." From the Forest of Darkness, Dante proceeds through Hell and Purgatory, then ascends into Heaven. Characters Dante: The main character, or protagonist, of the poem is the author himself. No other epic poets before him-including Homer and Virgil--had made themselves the main characters of their poems. Virgil (Virgil): The deceased Roman poet Publius Virgilius Maro, known as Virgil or Virgil, escorts Dante through Hell and Purgatory. He symbolizes humanreason. Virgil (70-19 BC), a poet Dante admired, wrote the great Latin epic The Aeneid. This work chronicled the exploits of the legendary Trojan hero Aeneas, who escaped Troy after the Trojan War and settled in Italy. There, his descendants founded Rome. Beatrice: Beatrice Portinari (1265-1290), believed to be the daughter of banker Folco Portinari, guides Dante into the celestial realm. Beatrice, who represents faith and grace, was Dante's first love, and he never forgot her even after he married Gemma Donati and Beatrice married Simon de Bardi. St. Bernard: A French Cistercian monk and abbot, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), guides and instructs Dante when the poet reaches the highest region of heaven. Bernard supported the ascendancy of Pope Innocent II against Anacletus II, an antipope. He preached in favor of the Second Crusade, strongly opposed heresy, and wrote many hymns that remain popular today. Mythological Personages and Creatures: Examples of the mythological figures in The Divine Comedy are the following: Geryon: Monster with a stinger. Geryon is a symbol of fraud Ulysses: Wily Greek who devised the Trojan horse, enabling Greece to defeat Troy in the Trojan War; he is in hell as a deceiver. The Greek name of Ulysses is Odysseus. He was the main character Home's great epic The Odyssey Arachne: Maiden turned into a spider after angering Minerva (Athena), goddess of wisdom and war. The Furies : Avengers of crimes The Harpies : Hideous monsters. Charon: Boatman who ferries soul across a river to the entrance of hell. Plutus: Servant of Satan. Plutus, a symbol of greed, flatters the devil. Chiron: Wise centaur (creature that was part horse and part human). Jason: Famed retriever of the Golden Fleece who abandoned his wife, Medea, for another woman. Deceased Humans: Among the deceased humans in the poem are the following: Homer: Great epic poet of ancient Greece who authored The Iliad and The Odyssey Horace, Ovid, and Lucan: Poets of ancient Rome. Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta: Illicit lovers killed by Francesca's husband. Queen Cleopatra of Egypt: Seductive and cunning Queen of Egypt in the Macedonian dynasty. She was the seventh Cleopatra, having the full title of Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator (Goddess Who Loves Her Father). She is famous for her love affairs with the Roman leaders Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Cato: Righteous government official of ancient Rome. Caiaphas: Jewish high priest during the time of Jesus. Saladin: Muslim leader who fought valiantly against the crusaders. Semiramis: Sinful queen of Assyria who was said to be the founder of Babylon. Venedico Caccianemico: Italian politician accused of pimping. Griffolino of Arezzo: Man who pretended that he could teach Alberto of Siena to fly. Pope Nicholas III: Pontiff associated with simony, the practice of buying or selling ecclesiastical offices or benefices.

such as willful murder and rape). envy. At the entrance to Purgatory. Finally.Peter. virtues. or against God himself.Pierre de la Brosse: Chancellor of France executed in 1278 for treachery. too. and deceivers. At the top of a hill in the distance. the arch fiend. the betrayer of Christ--and Brutus and Cassius. sloth. the human and divine natures of Christ. The Ninth Circle. They suffer no torment. (The Italian word for sin begins with a P. Thomas Aquinas. .. and the lustful. St. Among the terrace dwellers are excommunicants who repented before they died. When he attempts to climb toward the light. St. swindlers. are the least offensive souls. Paris. the assassins of Julius Caesar. the Greek warrior Achilles. where Beatrice--a woman Dante had loved before her death in 1295--will become his guide while Virgil returns from whence he came. such as unbaptized but well-meaning heathens. The Eighth Circle contains hypocrites. called Limbo. Plot Summary The Divine Comedy has three sections: Inferno (Hell). or political intrigue. As Dante and Virgil continue upward. it leads to Heaven. The Forest of Error On Good Friday in 1300. Supernatural Beings: These include Lucifer. They then cross the Acheron River and arrive at a cone-shaped cavern with nine circles. lion. comes forth to rescue him. Judas: Betrayer of Christ. are traitors of every kind--those who were false to friends or relatives. He also encounters the most abominable of all traitors--Judas Iscariot. Dante exults in the light and hope that greet him after leaving the horrid realm of darkness and death. and she-wolf--which symbolize human iniquity--block his way. Helen of Troy. which is surrounded by an ocean. and they depart. Cato symbolizes the four cardinal virtues of Roman Catholicism: prudence. An angel writes seven P's across Dante's forehead. St. a dark and ominous wood symbolizing his own sinful materialism and the materialism of the world in general. head to head. On ten terraces running up the side of the mountain are souls purging themselves of venial (less serious) sins such as negligence. On Cato's instructions. Purgatorio (Purgatory) and Paradiso (Paradise or Heaven). seeing terrible sights of suffering experienced by those who died in mortal sin (in Catholicism. forgers. Beatrice is there. and monarchs who neglected their duties. The spirit of the Roman poet Virgil (also spelled Vergil). the exemplar of human reason.) The angel then tells Dante he must wash away the P's--that is. as censor in 184 BC. they also meet the proud. the wasteful. The first section has 33 cantos (chapters) and an introduction of 1 canto for a total of 34. and angels. attempted to root out immorality and corruption in Roman life. The characters include mythological and historical personages. Virgil. he sees a light representing the hope of the resurrected Christ.The Seventh Circle contains those who committed violence against themselves or others. symbolizing humility. alchemists. fortitude and temperance. Dante and Virgil meet Cato. flatterers. purge himself of sin--while in Purgatory. they can gaze across the River Lethe and see the Earthly Paradise. is here frozen in the lake. Among the personages they encounter are Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. author of the epic The Aeneid. or to their country or a noble cause. St. Dante sees two political leaders frozen together in a lake. Virgil cleanses Dante's face of the grime of hell and girdles his waist with a reed. the envious. they cannot move on to Purgatory or Heaven because they died before Christ brought redemption. This alternate route leads first through Hell. where Dante will recognize sin for what it is. each representing one of the seven deadly sins. Satan himself. a lazy Florentine who postponed doing good works most of his life. Dante happily agrees to make the journey. Dante and Virgil hear the groans and wails of the damned in the outer reaches of the abyss and see persons who were lukewarm and halfhearted in their moral lives. reserved for the worst evildoers. where Dante will abjure sin and purge himself of it. Out of love for him. food. a leopard. They then pass down through the other eight circles. However. Brutus and Cassius: Ringleaders of the assassination plot against Julius Caesar. money. pride. for there is no way to get by the she-wolf. Saints Peter and Paul. Farther up the mountain. signaling it is time for Virgil to leave and return to his abode. demons. justice. she invites the purified Dante to come across the river and ascend to heaven. In Dante's poem. Hell (Inferno) After passing into hell. and the man who carried her off. After he confesses his guilt. Purgatory (Purgatorio) Dante and Virgil next arrive at the Mount of Purgatory. In the First Circle at the top. Dante sees a pageant in which the participants and sacred objects symbolize books of the Bible. Circles 2 through 6 contain those who could not control their desires for sex. she rebukes him for the sins he has committed. and other disciples of the Christian religion. Virgil himself dwells in the First Circle. the First Circle of the heathens. or false religion (heresy). the avaricious. the worst kind of sin. thieves. then through Purgatory. Still observing from the opposite bank of the river (and still in Purgatory). the thirty-five-year-old Dante enters the Forest of Error. an ancient Roman who. for human reason cannot mount the heights of paradise. offers to escort him out of the Forest of Error by another route. The second and third sections each have 33 cantos. Benedict. John: Important figures in the development of Roman Catholicism and Christianity. He was innocent.

Bernard comes forth to prepare Dante to look upon the resplendent beings within. The City of Dis.-Prophecy of calamity to Dante. The Second Circle: Carnal sinners. Third round of the Seventh Circle those who have done violence to God. Eighth Circle: fourth pit: Diviners. containing the spirits of those who lived virtuously but without Christianity.--The Minotaur. Mars. Dante. The highest level is the Empyrean.--Charon.--Brunetto Latini.--Dante swoons. she begs the light of God to welcome the prayer.--Passage of the Styx.--Vanni Fucci. CANTO V. it resembles the earth-centered (geocentric) system of Ptolemy rather than the sun-centered (heliocentric) system of Copernicus and Galileo. Tegghiaio Aldobrandi and Jacopo Rusticucci. The poets climb from the sixth pit. There the poet discovers that even some pagans--persons born before the time of Christ--abide in the heavenly realm because they accepted revelations from God. where are the shades of ancient worthies.Seventh pit: Fraudulent Thieves. is a celestial region with planets.--They enter a castle.--Greeting of Virgil by his fellow poets. Virgil leads Dante in. the First Circle of Hell.--The Centaurs.--Parley with them.--The demons refuse entrance to the poets.--The Styx.--Caiaphas.--Michael Zanche.--Acheron. Eighth Circle. and the Sinners in it.--The Malebranche.--Thais.-.-Descent to the Eighth Circle. Third round of the Seventh Circle: those who have done violence to Nature. he turns back and is met by Virgil. CANTO XXII.--Guido Guerra.--The Usurers. CANTO XIX. Canto-by-Canto Outline The following canto-by-canto outline of The Divine Comedy accompanies the Charles Eliot Norton translation of the epic. CANTO XXV.--Frederick II.--The Sixth Circle: Heresiarchs. it overpowers him with a love so radiant that he cannot fathom its depth or even remember what he saw.-.--Geryon.--Frate Catalano. First round of the Seventh Circle: those who do violence to others.--The Harpies. Eighth Circle: third pit: Simonists. Dante and Beatrice then rise into heaven.Cacus.--Fray of the Malebranche. Bernard prays to Mary on Dante's behalf. CANTO XII. The Sixth Circle: Heresiarchs.-. CANTO X. At the lowest level of Heaven is the Moon. CANTO XXVII.--Ciacco.Guido da Montefeltro. and the sinners on its bank. Second round of the Seventh Circle: those who have done violence to themselves and to their goods.-. Dante realizes here that knowledge of heaven comes only through the grace of God and deep meditation. After St.Pluto.-Prophecies of misfortune to Dante.--Fortune.--The River of Boiling Blood. Eighth Circle: the first pit: Panders and Seducers.--Francesca da Rimini. CANTO XV.--Virgil cheers him by telling him that he has been sent to his aid by a blessed Spirit from Heaven. and Magicians. The Fifth Circle. not through theology textbooks.--Phlegyas and his boat.--A magistrate of Lucca. Astronomically.Alessio Interminei. CANTO IX. CANTO XVI. CANTO XXIII.--The roar of Phlegethon as it pours downward.--Ciampolo of Navarre.--Jason. CANTO II. the Stars (where St.-. The Fourth Circle: the Avaricious and the Prodigal.Amphiaraus.--The Jovial Friars. Escape from the fifth pit. The gate of Hell. The Sixth Circle: Heretics.-. Eighth Circle: seventh pit: Fraudulent Thieves. Third round of the Seventh Circle: those who have done violence to Art. Jupiter.Venedico Caccianimico. When Dante and Beatrice reach the Empyrean.--Virgil leads Dante into Limbo. Soothsayers.--The sixth pit: Hypocrites. Click here to access the complete text. Venus. reaches the foot of a hill which he begins to ascend. Eighth Circle: fifth pit: Barrators.--Cerberus.--Virgil and Dante depart. CANTO VIII.-The Wood of Self-murderers. Eighth Circle: fifth pit: Barrators. CANTO IV.Michael Scott.Cavalcante Cavalcanti. CANTO VII. . the abode of the Triune God. the Virgin Mary. CANTO XXI.--Minos.Discourse of Virgil on the divisions of the lower Hell.--Dante casts off fear.-. Peter condemns corruption under Pope Boniface VIII) and the Primum Mobile (First Mover). doubtful of his own powers.--Eurypylus. although everyone experiences the fullness of God's love.-. Next come Mercury. The placement of an individual depends on the level of goodness he or she achieved in life. who proposes to guide him into the eternal world.-Manto.--The Burning Sand. and the poets proceed.--Filippo Argenti. Eighth Circle. CANTO XVIII.--Earthquake.--Figure of the Old Man in Crete.-. Eighth Circle: eighth pit: Fraudulent Counsellors.The cord thrown into the abyss. CANTO XX.--The Fifth Circle: the Wrathful and the Sullen. The Third Circle: the Gluttonous.--The City of Dis.--Tyrants and Homicides. CANTO XXVI. Hell (Inferno) CANTO I.-.Tiresias. he is hindered by three beasts.Aruns. Dante.--Pier della Vigne.-. St.Ulysses and Diomed.--Brother Gomita. CANTO XXIV.-Capaneus. stars.--Second pit: false flatterers. CANTO III. the cause of time and of all movement in the universe. The further side of Acheron.--The Three Furies. Eighth Circle: eighth pit: Fraudulent Counsellors.--The punishment of the neither good nor bad. a place of perfect happiness.-.--Shades renowned of old.--Agnello Brunellesehi and others. which is in the public domain and is available at Project Gutenberg. CANTO VI.Heaven (Paradiso) Heaven. When Dante glimpses that light.--Asolente.-.--Tomb of Pope Anastasius. and saints. CANTO XIII. is discouraged at the outset. Third round of the Seventh Circle: those who have done violence to Nature.--Farinata degli Uberti.--Chiron.--The Heavenly Messenger. and other bodies. CANTO XI.--Nessus. other angels. Saturn. CANTO XVII.--Eriehtho. astray in a wood. the Sun.-Annas.--Pope Nicholas III.--Lano of Siena and others.--The Rivers of Hell.-. CANTO XIV.

--The Spirits celebrate examples of Poverty and Bounty. CANTO VI. CANTO VIII. CANTO XIV. The Earthly Paradise.--Omberto Aldobrandeschi.Lucifer. Eighth Circle: ninth pit: Sowers of discord and schism. Ante-Purgatory.--Second ring: Antenora.--Sordello. Sixth Ledge: the Gluttonous. Ante-Purgatory. CANTO XXX.--Souls of those who have died in contumacy of the Church.--Buoso da Duera.--Last words of Virgil.--The Angel of the Pass.--Ascent to the Third Ledge: the Wrathful.--Messer Marchese. who postponed repentance to the last hour--Belacqua.--Fra Dolcino. CANTO XXV.--Beatrice appears.--The mode of their Purification.--Prayer. CANTO XI.--Examples of Love.--Forese Donati.--Third ring: Ptolomaea. CANTO III. Fourth Ledge: the Slothful.--Sinon of Troy. the infusion of the Soul into the body. Ante-Purgatory.--Sordello leads the Poets to the Valley of the Princes who have been negligent of salvation. Sunrise.--Oderisi d' Agubbio. Third Ledge: the Wrathful.--Pope Martin IV.--The negligent.Count Ugolino.--Ascent to the Fifth Ledge. Ninth Circle: Traitors.Passage from Hell. Ascent to the Sixth Ledge--Discourse of Statius and Virgil. CANTO XX.Myrrha. CANTO XVIII.--Mystic Procession or Triumph of the Church. First Ledge the Proud.--Prophecy of Bonagiunta concerning Gentucca. Ninth Circle: Traitors. Fifth Ledge: the Avaricious.--Mosca.--He points them out by name. Brutus and Cassius. Valley of the Princes. CANTO II.--Dream of Dante.Judas.--Night upon the stairs.--The Forest.--Rebuke of the women of Florence. CANTO X.-Seven P's inscribed on Dante's Forehead. CANTO XII.--Trembling of the Mountain.--The Gate of Purgatory.--Bonagiunta of Lucca.-.--Bonifazio.--Rinieri de' Calboli.--Guido Guinicelli.--Second Mystic Tree. First Ledge: the Proud.--Discourse concerning the Sharing of Good. CANTO IX. CANTO XXX.--Issue from the Smoke.-Efficacy of prayer.--Vision of examples of Anger--Ascent to the Fourth Ledge.--Hugh Capet.--Examples of the punishment of Pride graven on the pavement.--Ascent to the Earthly Paradise.--Two Guardian Angels.--Sinners in the fire.--Nella.--Casella and his song. Invocation to the Muses.---Throng of Spirits running in haste to redeem their Sin. CANTO IV. --Counts of Mangona.--Dante dreams of the Siren--The Angel of the Pass.-Their landing. First Ledge: the Proud.--Discourse of Statius on generation. going in opposite directions.--Dawn of Easter on the shore of Purgatory.--Examples of Temperance. CANTO XXI. Eighth Circle: tenth pit: Falsifiers of all sorts. CANTO XVI.--Guido del Duca. CANTO XXIV.-Discourse with her concerning the nature of the place. and of Forese concerning Corso de' Donati.-.Bocca degli Abati.--Examples of humility sculptured on the Rock.--Jacopo del Cassero.--Morning.--Reproof of Dante by Beatrice.--The Eagle.--The Poets on the shore.--Bertran de Born.--Via de' Tolomei. CANTO VII.--His discourse on Free Will.-. Second ring: Antenora. and the corporeal semblance of Souls after death. CANTO XIX.--Cato.--Dante falls asleep.-.--Entrance to the First Ledge.Centre of the universe.--Ascent to the Second Ledge.--Provinzan Salvani. but died repentant. Second Ledge: the Envious.--Examples of the punishment of Envy.--The Seventh Ledge:the Lustful.-Capocchio. Sixth Ledge the Gluttonous. bearing souls to Purgatory.CANTO XXVIII. Slumber and Dream of Dante. CANTO XIII.--Buonconte da Montefeltro.--Sapla of Siena. Eighth Circle: ninth pit.--The Abbot of San Zeno.--Corrado Malaspina.Ephialtes. Ante-Purgatory. CANTO XXXIV. Second Ledge: the Envious.--Statius does honor to Virgil. The Earthly Paradise.--Passage through the Flames.--Geri del Bello.--The Serpent. guided by an angel. Fourth ring: Judecca.-The Mystic Tree.--Marco Lombardo.--Master Adam.--Coming of a boat.--Meeting with an Angel who removes one of the P's.--Brother Alberigo.--Count Ugolino. CANTO XXII.--Statius.-.--Examples of Forbearance seen in Vision.-. Fourth Ledge: the Slothful. CANTO III. CANTO XXVII. Ninth Circle: Traitors.--Ascent to a shelf of the mountain. CANTO XVII. CANTO XXIII. Seventh Ledge: the Lustful.--The cleansing of Dante from the stains of Hell.--The Angelic Gatekeeper. Seventh Ledge: the Lustful.--The Shades in haircloth.--Souls of those who have died in contumacy of the Church.--Branca d' Oria.Camicion de' Pazzi.-.Curio.--A Lady gathering flowers on the bank of a little stream. CANTO XXXIII. CANTO XXVI. The Earthly Paradise.--Forese Donati.--Mahomet and Ali. CANTO XXXII.--Pope Adrian V.--Spirits who had delayed repentance.-.--Entrance to the Ledge: the Gluttonous.--Lucia.--Arnaut Daniel.--Gianni Schiechi.--Nimrod.--Cato hurries the souls to the mountain. CANTO V.--Antiens sets the Poets down in the Ninth Circle. Third Ledge: the Wrathful.--An Angel removes the second P from Dante's forehead. and with sealed eyes.--The Four Stars.-.--Ascent to the surface of the Southern hemisphere.--Manfred. where Sloth is purged--Second Nightfall--Virgil explains how Love is the root of Virtue and of Sin. CANTO XXIX.--Discourse of Virgil on Love and Free Will.--Stairway in the rock.-Purgatory (Purgatorio) CANTO I.--Griffolino of Mezzo. CANTO XXVIII.--Departure of Virgil.--Manfred. CANTO XXXI. Virgil makes himself known to Sordello.--Pier da Medicina.--His discourse on his descendants. and the Corruption of the World.-. Fifth Ledge: the Avaricious. and met with death by violence. . First ring: Caina. CANTO XV.--Apostrophe to Italy. Second Ledge: the Envious. Ascent to the Seventh Ledge. CANTO XXIX.--Cause of the trembling of the Mountain.--Tenth pit: Falsifiers of all sorts. The Giants around the Eighth Circle. Ante-Purgatory.--Nino Visconti.--Ubaldin dalla Pila.--More spirits who had deferred repentance till they were overtaken by a violent death.

for the time.--Reproachful discourse of Beatrice. and tells the names of those who form the circle with him. CANTO XXVI. CANTO VI. The Spirits in the Cross of Mars. CANTO XXXIII. Discourse of Beatrice.-.--Denunciation of the avarice of the Popes. Dominic. CANTO XII.--The River of Light.--Its nature.-Sleep of Dante.--The children in Paradise. Beatrice reassures Dante. St.--His waking to find the Triumph departed. CANTO XXVIII.-. The Vanity of worldly desires.--St. CANTO XX. Ascent to the Heaven of Venus. Thomas Aquinas. and confession of Dante. Paradise (Paradiso) CANTO I. and declares the vanity of human judgment.--Beatrice rebukes the covetousness of mortals.--St. CANTO XXXI.--The glory of the Blessed Virgin. Second circle of the spirits of wise religious men. John appears.--Appeal of the Virtues to Beatrice.--The patricians of the Court of Heaven. CANTO IV. and explains the relation of the wisdom of Solomon to that of Adam and of Christ.--The seat of Henry VII.--Ascent to the Heaven of Mercury. respecting the justice of Heaven and the abode of the blessed. CANTO XI.--With Folco of Marseilles. once Pagans.--The scheme of his Redemption.--The shade of Justinian. CANTO XIX. St. CANTO X.--Return of the Triumphal procession. Proem. and the renown of his Poem. CANTO XXII.--The Fall of Man. doctors of the Church and teachers.-Rahab. and answers questions put to him by Dante.-Question of Dante as to the possibility of reparation for broken vows. Source of the order and the varieties in mortal things.-He narrates the life of St.--Prayer to Beatrice. and the seriousness with which they are to be made or changed.--St.--Passage of Lethe.--The luxury of modern Prelates. Beatrice and Dante ascend to the Starry Heaven.--Princes who have loved righteousness.--Dante drinks of it.--It speaks of the mysteries of Divine justice. Dante is welcomed by his ancestor. The Song of the Just. The sanctity of vows. At the prayer of Beatrice. Ascent to the Heaven of Saturn.--Cacciaguida continues his discourse concerning the old and the new Florence.--St.-The Golden Stairway.--Transformation of the Chariot. CANTO XXXII. CANTO XXVII. Proem [Introduction].--Invocation. solved by Beatrice. Ascent to the Empyrean.--Avarice of the Papal Court.CANTO XXXI. The Triumph of Christ. The voice of the Eagle. Bernard. of the sins of certain kings. Thomas Aquinas speaks again.--Predestination. The boast of blood. Bonaventura narrates the life of St.--Her Unveiling.--Adam appears. The Heaven of Venus. CANTO VIII.--Words shaped in light upon the planet by the Spirits. The Earthly Paradise.--The Harlot and the Giant. CANTO XXXII.--Spirits of the wise. CANTO XXIV. CANTO XIII.--Piccarda Donati.--Dante's sight restored.--The last words of Beatrice. CANTO XVIII. Prayer to the Virgin.--The angelic festival. Peter Damian. of the necessity of Faith for salvation.--Predestination. CANTO XV. Cacciaguida.--He names to Dante those who surround him.--Spirits in the planet Mercury.--Spirits of Lovers. St.--Ascent to the Moon. and of the simple life of Florence in the old days.--Prophecy of Beatrice concerning one who shall restore the Empire. CANTO III.-. The Earthly Paradise.Beatrice explains the cause of their ascent.--He tells of the founding of his Order. Dante questions Cacciaguida as to his fortunes.--The Ultimate Salvation.--The Chariot bound to the Mystic Tree. CANTO XVI.--Spirits.--Romeo.--Influence of the Heavens. and the learned in theology. CANTO II. CANTO V.--Ascent of Beatrice and Dante to the Crystalline Heaven. CANTO VII.--St.Cacciaguida replies.--The river Eunoe.--The Beatific Vision. . CANTO XXXIII.--Her discourse with Dante. and of the falling away of its brethren.--Conversation of Dante with Cunizza da Romano.--St. The Heavenly Hierarchy. Solomon tells of the glorified body of the blessed after the Last Judgment. Peter of his degenerate successors. and is fit to ascend to Heaven. CANTO XXI. St.--Faith and Salvation. Benedict appears.--She reproves the presumption and foolishness of preachers. Thomas Aquinas undertakes to solve two doubts perplexing Dante. CANTO XIV. Bernard describes the order of the Rose. The Earthly Paradise. The Rose of Paradise. in bliss.--Spirits whose vows had been broken. James examines Dante concerning Hope. Francis of Assisi. and points out many of the Saints.--Ascent to the Heaven of Jupiter.--Beatrice and Dante ascend to the Sphere of Fire.--The celestial Rose. The Heaven of the Moon.--The story of the Roman Eagle. Ascent to the Sun. and approves his answer. of sight.--Spirits of those who had given themselves to devout contemplation. John examines Dante concerning Love.Cacciaguida tells of his family. CANTO IX.-. St. CANTO XXIX. in the eye of the Eagle. CANTO XXIII.--Dante gazes upon the Earth.--Hymn of the Spirits. Denunciation by St. Peter examines Dante concerning Faith. Doubts of Dante. Discourse of Beatrice concerning the creation and nature of the Angels.--The cause of Spots on the Moon.The constellation of the Twins. CANTO XXX.--The Empress Constance. CANTO XXV. foretelling the exile of Dante.--Souls of the Soldiery of Christ in the form of a Cross with the figure of Christ thereon. CANTO XVII.with a brightness so dazzling as to deprive Dante.--St. Justinian tells of his own life.-Ascent to the Heaven of Mars.-Sight of the Earth.

. Out of love for him. ....... tongue can never make it understood:... The word comedy is derived from the Greek words komos (meaning revel. the climax occurs in Paradise when Dante beholds the light of God. Therefore--unlike epics such as The Odyssey... leading him into Paradise.... Rehabilitation Although confession of sins and penance will restore a human being to a state of grace..... Comedies of earlier times did not necessarily contain jokes or humorous situations.. the number 3 has special significance.. he continued to love her from afar and dedicated many poems to her... bcb....Tant' amara che poco pi morte.. It consists of three-line stanzas in which line 2 of one stanza rhymes with lines 1 and 3 of the next stanza.. eternal bliss in the sight of God.. According to the second definition...... Definition of Comedy ... . a lion............Along the journey of our life half way....The other things I saw there I'll rehearse.. Thirty-three cantos in each section... etc.It is so bitter death is hardly worse. hypocrisy...... . wearing a white veil and crown. including simony.. and so on.. after he dies must he must purge himself of the stains sin leaves on his soul if he has not done so in his lifetime. involving lack of self-control over natural appetites (for sex...... Verse Format and Structure of the Poem The Divine Comedy contains one hundred cantos (major divisions or "chapters" of the epic poem) written in terza rima... (3) malice or fraud. Consider that the poem has the following: • • • • • • Three main sections: Hell. and Beowulf--The Divine Comedy focuses mainly on life as a spiritual journey..... God the Son... Since The Divine Comedy involves redemption. Beatrice and St. Purgatory and Paradise.. In The Divine Comedy. She then acts as his guide...) A division of sin into three types: (1) incontinence. Although he married another woman and she married another man... he confesses his guilt as a sinner. they did have to have a happy ending... Thus....... for the good it was my chance to gain.ch la diritta via era smarrita........) Three guides--Virgil... flattery and forgery..Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita . The rhyme scheme progresses in the following pattern from the beginning of a canto: aba.That fear returns in thinking on that wood..Wherein the straight road no longer lay..... in Canto XXXI.. (The first section also has an introductory canto... According to the first definition. Dante met Beatrice Portinari and loved her from that moment on.esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte . Bernard--who lead Dante through the realms of the afterlife. and God the Holy Spirit.. involving anger and brutality... Salvation Through Repentance Even if a person sins...dir de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte Significance of the Number 3 Dante wrote The Divine Comedy in honor of the three Persons who make up the one God: God the Father. and a wolf symbolizing these sins in the opening canto. Love When he was a child of nine. (2) violence... The climax of a literary work can be defined as (1) the turning point at which the conflict begins to resolve itself for better or worse....... the climax of The Divine Comedy occurs in Purgatory when Beatrice causes Dante to admit guilt and repent.. delight or happiness) and aoidos (meaning singer). he is not lost... a comedy was a work in which a writer "sang" about a happy event.. This purgation in the afterlife takes place in purgatory. A comedy in earlier times was a work with a happy ending. However.Themes Life as a Journey The Divine Comedy presents life as a journey in which one man (representing all human beings) must overcome obstacles to achieve the ultimate goal. The obstacles the traveler must overcome are temptation and sin.. throughout the poem... an Italian verse form invented by Dante.... (See format above. A leopard.......... Thus.).But.Ahi quanto a dir qual era cosa dura ..... she rebukes him harshly until..mi ritrovai per una selva oscura ..che nel pensier rinova la paura! .. drink..Ah..I found myself again in a dark wood...... or as (2) the final and most exciting event in a series of events.. The following English translation of the first lines from the Divine Comedy--with the original Dante lines on the right--demonstrate the rhyme scheme: ... The Aeneid.. food..) Three-line rhyme scheme (terza rima) in which the second line of one stanza rhymes with the first and third lines of the next stanza.......... cdc. Sincere contrition and penitence will restore the soul to eligibility for entrance into heaven...So harsh and dense and savage to traverse. she appears to him in Canto XXX of Purgatory.ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai. efe... She died when she was only twenty-four...... (See the next paragraph for more information on the guides. . it fits this category.. ghg... ded. Climax ...