Option 1: Secular and sacred aspects of Medieval Italian culture as found in the Inferno: What are some political and social issues of the time, and how do characters such as Ciacco, Bocca, Archbishop Ruggieri, or even Dante exemplify these issues? How does the church of the time judge them, in Dantes opinion as the author of the poem?
Select a relevant passage of your own choosing from the Inferno (the lines of poetry, not a summary). Choose carefully, thinking about how your passage might speak to overarching themes and the bolded text in the Purpose, above.
Option 1: How does your passage illustrate a conclusion about judgment of human actions as seen in the Inferno, and how is that significant or important for understanding the Medieval Italian cultureor the relationship between secular and sacred more generally?
Dantes text is written to add the Christian context because it puts earthly sinners, denoting the torment in hell based on their earthly experiences. Dante believed that for humans to have a perfect social and political state, there must be peace in the nation. Peace is achievable when humans are not selfish or do not work against fellow human beings with the intent of harm. Dantes quest is universal as he not only talks about himself but the people. His poem worked to represent the whole universe in a call to help them avoid sin.
What are some political and social issues of the time, and how do characters such as Ciacco, Bocca, Archbishop Ruggieri, or even Dante exemplify these issues? How does the church of the time judge them, in Dantes opinion, the author of the poem?
Ciacco believes that envy will end in war, and all the contemporaries will be punished in hell for their sins (Dante Alighieri, paragraph 37). Bocca the Ghibelline, by blood, is frozen in the depths of hell after the betrayal in a key battle. The likes of Archbishop Ruggieri and Ugolino are frozen, with one chewing on the others skull (Dante Alighieri, paragraph 37). They both get frozen in the lowest parts of hell; the Archbishop for imprisoning Ugolino, his sons, and his grandson, letting them do without food till they starve to death and Ugolino for helping the Archbishop weaken the Guelf competitors.
Through every city shall he hunt her down?
Until he shall have driven her back to Hell,
From that place whence envy first did let her loose.
How does your passage illustrate a conclusion about the judgment of human actions as seen in the Inferno?
Dante discusses that after the people are dead, they shall be judged and would either be thrown to hell or be saved in purgatory (Franke, 15). He claims that judgment shall come, and the souls shall either stay in hell or purgatory for the longest time. The damned will suffer.
The significance of understanding the Medieval Italian culture
Dantes explanation and depiction of heaven, hell, and purgatory inspire Western Art. Artists from all denominations and faith have tried to reinterpret the divine comedy to address issues like politics, society, and artistic principles that affect todays world. Dantes poem creates an effective means to appreciate medieval literature. Dantes explanation of the afterlife is an influential piece of literature and became a center ground for the modern Italian language. He altered the way religion and the afterlife were reflected.
The relationship between secular and sacred
Dantes Inferno is an analogy of earthly sinners and the torments they go through in hell (Franke, 18). The poem is rounded up with religious and secular ideas because of the punishments in hell.
Dantes poem is meant to help everyone overcome the problem of sin and discover Gods love. In his poem, he gets us through the consequence of sin that takes us to hell, where all evil receives its punishment.
Franke, William. Dantes Inferno as Poetic Revelation of Prophetic Truth. Philosophy and Literature 33.2 (2009): 252-266.
Dante Alighieri.Inferno, Canto I (165-1321). From The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This poem is in the public domain.
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