The Divine Comedy describes in an epic way Dantes three days long journey. His helper was Virgil. He was the voice of reason and Beatrice was the symbol of Lords mercy. With their help Dante had to go through hell, purgatory and heaven.
The Divine Comedy is written divided to three parts and each of them has 33 cantos that are the same length. The first canto is also included and all together there are 100 cantos. Every part ends with the word “stelle” which means stars.
The poem is consisted of 14233 lines which rime. It is divided into three parts: Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. Hell has nine circles, Purgatory is divided into nine parts and Heaven into nine skies.
With the help of Vergil Dante becomes aware of the mystery of pain, political rivals and during that he states his defy, fantastic, tragedy and passion. In the purgatory he saw the path of redemption and the liberation of humans material needs and his perfection. The poet reveals heaven as a harmony, unity of a man and cosmos and the love that moves everything.
In the middle of the human life, at the age of 35, Dante got lost in the woods and after a whole night of wondering around he wakes up on a top of a hill where he encountered three dangerous animals: lion, panther and a wolf. He was scared and started running. On his way he found Virgil who promised to save him but before that he had to go through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven.
Finally Dante and Virgil came in front of Hells doors and Dante saw a sign which said ‘’Give up hope you who enter’’. They did not enter yet but already heard awful screams, curses and cries. They saw a big crowd of souls running in panic over a river. They were the ones that were lazy and only thought about themselves in their life. Now they were forced to run because they were chased by bees and hornets.
Dante and Virgil finally got to the river Acheron where the miserable souls were waiting to be transferred to the other side by Charon, the ferryman. When he saw Dante, who was alive, Charon got mad and denied to take him to the other side. Virgil calmed him down saying that Dantes arrival was Gods whish. Suddenly the ground started shaking and Dante passed out. He woke up on the other side, in the first circle of hell. The first circle was the Limbo. There were the ones who lived before Christ and were not baptized. They did not suffer but they wanted to fell Gods mercy. In the first circle Dante met Homer, Ovid, Horace, Cesar, Socrates, Aristotle.
In the second circle they saw Minos, half man and half beast. He was the guard who was listening to everyones confessions and sent them into their circle. Dante went to the second circle and met the sinful lovers.
All of the souls in this part of Hell were tormented by a never ending wind. Dante found Cleopatra, Paris and other lovers. Dante also met Paolo and Francesca who were murdered by Paolos brother when he caught them two together in adultery. Dante was so impressed by that unfortunate story that he passed out again.
When he finally woke up he was at the entrance to the third circle of Hell where the sinners spent an eternity in mud and mire. Gluttons and alcoholics were here and they were guarded by Cerberus, a three-headed dog who was barfing at them and tore them apart.
The fourth circle used to be guarded by Plato and now it was guarded by a beast. The biggest number of sinners was here. Cheapskates were on one side and on the other there were spenders. They pushed a rock every day towards the center of Hell and then they would collide, argue and go back the same way.
In the fifth circle there was a swamp Styx and in the depth the lazy were suffocating and in the mud the angry were fighting.
The two of them get to the sixth circle but the guards did not want to let Dante in even though Virgil explained the situation. An angel appeared and opened the door for them. When they got in Dante saw a lot of open graves where heretic were because they did not believe in the immortality of the soul.
While breathing in an awful smell, the poets went to the seventh circle where the violent ones were. Minotaur was in the entrance and that circle was made out of three parts. In the first one were the people who were violent against the ones near them and they were in the river of boiling blood Phlegethon. In the next part were people who committed suicide and were turned into trees with human emotions and bushes. They were tormented by harpies. Poets came to the third part and saw the people who had done something against Gods and natures law. They were tormented by burning snowflakes rain.
They arrived to the eight circle that was divided into ten ditches. The first one had Panderers and Seducers tormented with whips. In the second ditch were the Flatterers who were dipped into humans feces. In the third ditch were the Simonists who were up-side down over holes while they feet were on fire. The fourth ditch was made for Fortune Tellers and Diviners who had they heads on backwards. The fifth ditch contained sinners of Graft slashed by demons. In the sixth one were the Hypocrites wearing leaden robes. In the seventh one they saw Thieves whose hands were cut off. In the eight ditch Dante saw Evil Counselors moving between flames. In the ninth the devils were hurting people who caused fights between people the same blood and religion. In the tenth were the Falsifiers who suffered from horrible diseases.
They finally arrived to the last circle of Hell. The biggest sinners were there and those were the traitors. The sinners who betrayed their country or family were stuck in a frozen river Cocytus. At the bottom they saw Lucifer who had three faces: a red on, a yellow one and a black one. His three mouths were chewing the three biggest traitors Judas, Brutus and Cassius.
Lucifer had six wings on him with which he waved constantly. That’s how he kept the water cold. Bloody saliva was coming out of his mouth. Virgil and Dante grabbed onto the hairs on Lucifers ribs and went to the Hells exit.
Purgatory is the second part of The Divine Comedy. After a rough path the poets came to the surface of a great mountain that is Purgatory. It is divided into pre-purgatory, real purgatory and earthly heaven. When they washed themselves Dante and Virgil started climbing. First they got into the pre-purgatory where they were sleeping.
In the dream Dante saw an angel that cut the letter p seven times into his forehead. The significance of that were the 7 sins and the seven circles of purgatory that he has to go through. On their way Dante and Virgil encountered cheap skates, spenders, angry, lazy and grumpy people. The seventh circle was filled with flame and Dante was afraid to enter. Virgil convinced him to go in and afterwards they found themselves in front of the stairs that lead to heaven. Dante fell asleep.
This is the third part of The Divine Comedy. Dante went into it purified from his sins. After he had woken up he found himself in a garden full of flowers and there it was always spring. Soon Beatrice appeared, a beautiful women and a symbol of Gods word. She will be with Dante instead of Virgil because he can’t go into Heaven since he is the voice of human reason.
AS pure creatures they started rising towards God. The path was leading them through nine spheres that revolve around Earth. The first one was the Moons sphere, the second one was Mercury sphere, the third one Venus, the fourth one the Suns, the fifth one Mars, the sixth one Jupiter, the seventh one Saturn. The eight one was a star and the last one was made from crystal and was moving everything else. Above them was the Empyrean were God was. Dantes wish comes true here and he saw the divine love.
Dante Alighieri Biography
Dante Alighieri lived from 1265 until 1321 and was a famous Italian writer of the never dying work of art The Divine Comedy.
He was born in Florence and his parents were Alighieri di Bellinciona and Bella. He was born in one of the oldest noble families and a few years after he was born his mother died. His father re-married again.
He was the biggest Italian national poet. He participated actively in the political life but after the opposite side won he lived in exile until he died. He was a politician, philosopher, the creator of the Italian literary language and a poet above all. He has left behind a lot of works in which he stated his views about the Italian literary language.
His first work was “La vita nuova” where he celebrated the beauty of Beatrice. It was written in prose and a ballad was inserted in it. Based on the idealized concept of love and the spirit of “dolce stil nuoco” Beatrice became a divine symbol.
Dante started working on The Divine Comedy in 1307 and it became the biggest accomplishment of the medieval literature and one of the biggest creations in the history. Dante walked us through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven and brought to life many characters from mythical creatures to his contemporaries.
Even though it belonged to the Middle Ages, The Divine Comedy had in it the critic of the new ages that do not fear to attack the Church and priests. In it Dante stated the human weaknesses and humans nature with a lot of understanding. This work of art created a great impact on the development of the European literature.
Book reports from Dante Alighieri