The Inferno by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Max Hekler English Instructor Needham high School clcmapping.wordpress.com/ 2009/10/02/5/ A Little on the Man, Himself From a moderate income Florentine family Florence was HOPPING then! His father, a judge or notary, married twice. Married & had 3 kids, but never saw them again after exiled at 36 years old Lived another 20 years, traveling all around Italy and extensively around Europe until he died at 56 Exile was harsher than death in many respects. Beatrice •D. Fell in love with a girl named Beatrice when he was 9, and he never got over her apparently. •In The Divine Comedy, the figure of Beatrice guides/lures/brings/motivates D. from the Terrestrial to the Celestial Paradise. •She sends Virgil to guide D. through Hell. •Beatrice is mentioned by name sixty-three times in the D. C., but on no occasion does D. address her by name; the name occurs twice only in the Inferno, (ii.70), (ii.1030) Toynbee, Paget. A Dictionary of Proper Names and Notable Matters in the Works of Dante. Oxford University Press,1968. Beatrice •the Light of Grace (lumen gratiae) •the Natural Light (lumen naturale) leading to •the Light of Glory (lumen gloriae) •Revelation (Sapientia creat) •A Love (de sursum descendens or caritas creata) •Analogue to Christ (Sapientia increata) (Purgatorio) Toynbee, Paget. A Dictionary of Proper Names and Notable Matters in the Works of Dante. Oxford University Press,1968. The Form of the Poem •Epic poem in the tradition of Homer (The Odyssey, The Iliad) and Virgil (The Aeneid) •Allegory: Symbolism as a 2-D picture •The Divine Comedy: 3 Parts Inferno Purgatorio Paradiso •Written in Cantos (33 each +1= 100 Cantos in all) •Employs terza rima: - three-line stanzas(tercet) - chain rhyme: A-B-A, B-C-B, C-D-C, D-E-D - no limit to the number of lines •No set rhythm for terza rima The Form of Hell • Could this be any more a Type 2, Medieval, Hierarchical text?? • A special circle with special punishments for every special sin QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. • The sins are categorized in 3 sections: Sins of Incontinence, Violence, and Fraud, respectively(mirroring the 3 Beasts from earlier) • 7th, 8th, and 9th Circles have subdivisions (Rings and Bolgias) • 2 rivers run through- Acheron & Styx http://www.catholica.com.au/peregrinus/images/DanteInferno_400x606.jpg • Satan in lowest portion, stuck in a frozen lake (indeed, when did Hell freeze over?) What’s With All The Ancient Greek & Roman Stuff? • Virgil is Dante’s guide in multiple respects • Modeled after Hades • Old Rome vs. New Rome • Dante’s Hell keeps old mythological figures off unemployment in a new Christian era • Dante is giving himself mad props • Those Greek and Roman figures are just too cool to leave out of an epic poem. Overview • D. is going through a midlife crisis, wandering in the woods • Encounters 3 beasts: Leopard of Malice and Fraud (i.33) Lion of Violence and Ambition (i.44) She-Wolf of Incontinence (i.48; 90-105) (Depends?) • D. swoons on occasion (i.11- see note on 47); falls “unconscious”, has bad dreams • Virgil “saves” him and guides him • D. layers hell by sinner/punishment; and adds in literary, religious, political, historical figures where they “belong” • A real slice of 13th Century Florentine life; a Medieval “Who’s Who” The Gates of Hell QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Rodin’s Sculpture of The Gates of Dante’s Hell Milton’s Version http://www.sai.msu.su/cjackson/blake/blake7.jpg THROUGH ME THE WAY TO THE CITY OF WOE, THROUGH ME THE WAY TO EVERLASTING PAIN, THROUGH ME THE WAY AMONG THE LOST. JUSTICE MOVED MY MAKER ON HIGH. DIVINE POWER MADE ME, WISDOM SUPREME, AND PRIMAL LOVE. BEFORE ME NOTHING WAS BUT THINGS ETERNAL, AND ETERNAL I ENDURE. ABANDON ALL HOPE, YOU WHO ENTER HERE. (iii.1-9) The Vestibule of Hell QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Painting by William Blake Engraving by Doré noircon.info http://www.blakearchive.org/blake/images/but812.1.5.wc.100.jpg Opportunists in Hell’s Mud Room: The Punishment . . .sighs, loud wailing, lamentation resounded through the starless air, so that I too began to weep. Unfamiliar tongues, horrendous accents, words of suffering, cries of rage, voices loud and faint, the sound of slapping hands -all these made a tumult, always whirling in that black and timeless air, as sand is swirled in a whirlwind.. . . Heaven casts them out, and the depth of Hell does not receive them. . . They have no hope of death, and their blind life is so abject that they are envious of every other lot. 'The world does not permit report of them. Mercy and justice hold them in contempt. Let us not speak of them -- look and pass by.' And I, all eyes, saw a whirling banner that ran so fast it seemed as though it never could find rest. Behind it came so long a file of people that I could not believe death had undone so many.. . . were naked and beset by stinging flies and wasps that made their faces stream with blood, which, mingled with their tears, was gathered at their feet by loathsome worms. (iii.16-69) •Destined to forever be nowhere •Swirling in a whirlwind •Envious of everyone else •Banished, forgotten w/o legacy •Chasing desperately a blank banner •Naked •Swarmed by biting flies & stinging wasps •Oozing, bloody, pussy wounds from insects •Nasty worms gather at their feet Opportunists: The Crime 'This miserable state is borne by the wretched souls of those who lived without disgrace yet without praise. 'They intermingle with that wicked band of angels, not rebellious and not faithful to God, who held themselves apart. (iii.34-39) Essentially, they are the selfish bystanders who abstain from taking sides. These folks are guilty of not caring enough, of apathy. Most likely spot for sowers of Senioritis! “their blind life” (iii.47) After I recognized a few of these, I saw and knew the shade of him who, through cowardice, made the great refusal. At once with certainty I understood this was that worthless crew hateful alike to God and to His foes. These wretches, who never were alive (iii.58-64) The Great Refusal: Popes who decided they didn’t want the job The reason why Opportunists are placed here in Hell is explained literally. Their moral apathy entitles them to no place anywhere.