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CANTUL I - Prologul Spre amiaza vietii mele ajuns, fara de veste ma pomenii intr-o padure deasa, caci ratacisem

calea catre creste


These famous lines, narrated by Dante, open Inferno and immediately establish the allegorical plane on which the storys meaning unfolds (I.12). The use of such potent words as journey and right road signifies the religious aspect of Dantes impending adventure and quickly notifies us that we are leaving the realm of the literal. Likewise, the image of being lost in dark woods sets up a clear dichotomy between the unenlightened ignorance involved in a lack of faith in God and the clear radiance provided by Gods love. The simple contrast between the dark woods, which embody Dantes fear, and the right road, which embodies Dantes confidence in God, makes his challenge clearhe sets out to look for God in a sinful world. His reference to our life contributes to the allegorical level of Inferno: the journey upon which Dante is embarking is not solely his but rather that of every human being. He describes his journey in only the vaguest of terms, with no mention of where he is coming from or where he is heading, because he believes that this journey is one that every individual undertakes so as to understand his or her sins and find his or her peace with God.

Ratacirea in padure Dante, recapatandu-si constiinta pe care nu stie cum si cand a pierdut-o, se trezeste intr-o padure intunecoasa si deasa. Voind sa iasa di padure, ajunge la poalele unei coline, al carei crestet e luminat de razele soarelui. isi da seama de primejdia din care a scapat si se pregateste sa urce colina catre lumina Spre amiaza vietii = la mijlocul vietii noastre. Comparand cercul vietii omenesti cu un semicerc, Dante afirmase ca punctul cel mai inalt al arcului marcheaza varsta de 35 ani; de aici, viata coboara catre capat (considerat de psalmistul David a fi la 70 de ani) => ofera 2 indicatii: 1. indicatie biografica a intrerprins calatoria intr-un mom. crucial al vietii lui 2. una istorica anul viziunii considerat de istorici a fi anul 1300 (Cosbuc face calculi si zice ca e 1298, in sapt. Pastilor??) ma pomenii- dupa moartea Beatricei, Dante, lipsit de idealul ce-l calauzea in viata, se lasa ademenit de placeri de rand, paraseste drumul virtutii si se afunda in lumea deasa a pacatului

Padurea loc magic, prin excelenta, topos in lit. medievala. in mod alegoric, da o stare de confuzie, ratacire sufleteasca; = un loc in care nu pot patrunde razele soarelui si din care calatorul nu stie cum sa iasa. nu stie cum a ajuns in padure pt ca drumul gresit pe care l-a apucat i-a adormit constiinta.

Dupa ce se odihneste un pic, Dante porneste din nou la drum, voind sa urce pe dealul luminat. E asaltat de un leu, o pantera, o lupoaica. Mai ales cea din urma il impinge inapoi spre padurea deasa. In sens alegoric, dupa etica aristotelica, ele reprezinta cele trei aplecari spre rau ale omului violenta, coruptia si desfraul, dupa care sunt grupate si pacatele din Infernul dantesc. Dupa unii, pantera = Florenta, pt. a carei stapanire se luptau albii si negrii Leu = trufia ce nu se-apleaca in fata legilor sau a regulilor unanim acceptate Unii vad in leu puternica familie regala a Frantei Altii Carol de Valois, trimis spre Bonifaciu spre a-i ajuta pe negrii din Florenta sa ia puterea in mainile lor Lupoaica lacomia, radacina tutror relelor, din care pelegrinul isi da seama ca nu poate scapa, asa cum n-au putut sa se salveze nici nenumarati altii Dupa unii = simbolul curtii papale, renumita pt. lacomie si avaritie.

Summary: Canto I
Midway on our lifes journey, I found myself In dark woods, the right road lost. Halfway through his life, the poet Dante finds himself wandering alone in a dark forest, having lost his way on the true path (I.10). He says that he does not remember how he lost his way, but he has wandered into a fearful place, a dark and tangled valley. Above, he sees a great hill that seems to offer protection from the shadowed glen. The sun shines down from this hilltop, and Dante attempts to climb toward the light. As he climbs, however, he encounters three angry beasts in successiona leopard, a lion, and a she-wolfwhich force him to turn back. Returning in despair to the dark valley, Dante sees a human form in the woods, which soon reveals itself to be the spirit, or shade, of the great Roman poet Virgil. Thrilled to meet the poet that he most admires, Dante tells Virgil about the beasts that blocked his path. Virgil replies that the she-wolf kills all who approach her but that, someday, a magnificent hound will come to chase the she-wolf back to Hell, where she originated. He adds that the she-wolfs presence necessitates the use of a different path to ascend the hill; he offers to serve as Dantes guide. He warns Dante, however, that before they can climb the hill they must first pass through the place of eternal punishment (Hell) and then a place of lesser punishment (Purgatory); only then can they reach Gods city (Heaven). Encouraged by Virgils assurances, Dante sets forth with his guide.

CANTUL II Dante ii marturiseste lui Vergiliu ca se teme de calatoria propusa de acesta pt ca nu se simte demn de ea. V. il incurajeaza, povestindu-i de catre cine a fost trimis ca sa-i slujeasca despre conducator/calauza - Beatrice Dante invoca muza Sovaiala lui Dante se gandeste la cei care au facut calatoria asta inaintea lui*, impins de indoiala, e aproape sa renunte. V. il mustra si apoi il incurajeaza * cine e el fata de Pavel (care a fost apostolul unei mari religii) sau Eneas (fondatorul unui mare imperiu), are el vreo misiune de indeplinit? invoca O, Muze (element al mitologiei pagane, dandu-le noi semnificatii potrivit dogmei crestine; aici el se adreseaza puterilor ceresti pt. a-l inspira sa cante cele vazute in calatoria sa), dar si O, minte (minte, memorie, care a retinut si-a inregistrat) Ei se afla in zona de intrare in Infern, in Limb Limb dupa catolici, locul in care se afla copiii morti fara sa fi fost botezati si dreptii din Vechiul Testament inainte de venirea lui Hristos. Dante pune in limb si sufletele oamenilor mari ai Antichitatii, care n-au alta vina decat cea de-a nu fi fost crestini Motivatiile alegerii lui Vergiliu drept calauza: 1. estetica V. = precursorul poetic al lui Dante, poetul latin pe care il admira, dar si cel cu care se ia la intrecere. In Infernul, Dante rescrie intr-o maniera personala cartea a VI-a a Eneidei. 2. istorica V. a descris in Eneida intemeierea Romei, iar Dante se considera descendent direct al vechilor romani Interpretare alegorica Potrivit acestei interpretari, V. ar fi intruchiparea ratiunii (cele 3 functii ale sufletului rationala, apetenta, pasionala). El intelege natura pacatului, pedepsei si ispasirii, dar nu poate intelege misterul credintei crestine de aceea e in limb. Beatrice - il asteapta pe culmile Purgatoriului, in Paradisul terestru - faptura angelica, cu functie precisa in ierarhia salvarii imaginata de Dante - creata de Dante in Vita Nuova Boccaccio B. = fiica lui Folco Portinari din Florenta, moarta timpuriu. - glorificata in Divina Comedia, ea ar simboliza adevarul revelat (sau teologia, papa ideal, credinta). altii nu e inspirata de fiica lui Portinari si Beatrice e o denumire pur simbolica, desemnand o idee considerata majora de catre Dante Cosbuc - neaga existenta fizica a Beatricei si o considera un concept personificat Dantologii contemporani - in general, se vb despre o fiinta cu existenta reala, ce inspira o puternica dragoste tanarului Dante, dar nu ne raportam la real si nu o deducem din rime pt ca rimele sunt produsul fanteziei lui creatoare, fara referent la real. - trimisa iubirii divine pt a-l elibera pe Dante din plasa pacatului - fiinta iubita il pune in miscare pe V., cel ce-l va calauzi pe pelegrin. accentul cade pe dragostea ce i-a fost inspirata si nu pe fiinta reala = doamna mintii lui Dante V.

Summary: Canto II
Dante invokes the Muses, the ancient goddesses of art and poetry, and asks them to help him tell of his experiences. Dante relates that as he and Virgil approach the mouth of Hell, his mind turns to the journey ahead and again he feels the grip of dread. He can recall only two men who have ever ventured into the afterlife and returned: the Apostle Paul, who visited the Third Circle of Heaven, and Aeneas, who travels through Hell in VirgilsAeneid. Dante considers himself less worthy than these two and fears that he may not survive his passage through Hell. Virgil rebukes Dante for his cowardice and then reassures him with the story of how he knew to find Dante and act as his guide. According to Virgil, a woman in Heaven took pity upon Dante when he was lost and came down to Hell (where Virgil lives) to ask Virgil to help him. This woman was Beatrice, Dantes departed love, who now has an honored place among the blessed. She had learned of Dantes plight from St. Lucia, also in Heaven, who in turn heard about the poor poet from an unnamed lady, most likely the Virgin Mary. Thus, a trio of holy women watches over Dante from above. Virgil says that Beatrice wept as she told him of Dantes misery and that he found her entreaty deeply moving. Dante feels comforted to hear that his beloved Beatrice has gone to Heaven and cares so much for him. He praises both her and Virgil for their aid and then continues to follow Virgil toward Hell.

Analysis: Cantos III

From a structural point of view, the first two cantos of Infernofunction as an introduction, presenting the main dramatic situation and maneuvering Dante and Virgil to the entrance of Hell, the journey through which will constitute the main plot of the poem. In a larger sense, however, the opening cantos help to establish the relationship between Inferno and larger literary, political, and religious tradition, indicating their points of convergence and deviation. Inferno takes the form of an allegory, a story whose literal plot deals entirely in symbols, imbuing the story with a second level of meaning implied by, but broader than, the events of the narrative. On a literal level, The Divine Comedyportrays Dantes adventures in the fantastic realms of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, but these adventures allegorically represent a broader subject: the trials of the human soul to achieve morality and find unity with God. From the opening lines, Dante makes clear the allegorical intention of his poem: Midway on our lifes journey, I found myself / In dark woods, the right road lost (I.12). By writing our lifes journey (emphasis added) and with his generic phrase the right road, Dante links his own personal experience to

that of all humanity. The dark woods symbolize sinful life on Earth, and the right road refers to the virtuous life that leads to God. In this way, Dante links his poem to the larger tradition of medieval Christian allegory, most famously represented in English by Bunyans Pilgrims Progress. A great deal of medieval Christian allegory portrayed a character type known as Everyman, a Christian protagonist (even named Christian in Bunyans work) representing all of humanity; the Everyman character undergoes trials and tribulations in his search to find the souls true path in life. By making himself the hero of his story, Dante casts himself in the role of Everyman; more broadly, Dante literally wishes each individual to put him- or herself in the position described at the beginning of the poem, since, according to Christian doctrine, all people know some form of sin and thus wander lost in a dark wood. Similarly, the path to the blessed afterlife awaits anyone who seeks to find it. The opening tercet (a three-line stanza) of Inferno also situates the poem in time. The Bibles Psalms describe a human lifespan as being threescore and ten years, or seventy years. Because of the many close links between The Divine Comedy and the Bible, most critics agree that Dante would have considered mans lifespan to be seventy years; thus, midway on our lifes journey would make Dante thirty-five, locating the events in the year 1300. These cantos contain many passages, however, whose analysis has produced more disagreement than accord. For example, one can reasonably assume that the three beasts that menace Dante as he tries to climb the sunlit hill represent dark forces that threaten mankind, but it is difficult to define them more concretely. Early commentators on the poem often considered them to represent the sins of lust, pride, and avarice. The three beasts also have a biblical analogue in Jeremiah 5:6: Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, and a leopard shall watch over their cities. Much of the allegory in Inferno takes a political tone, referring to the situation in Italy (especially Florence) during Dantes lifetime, and to the conflict between the pope and the Holy Roman Emperor. It thus seems probable that the three beasts also carry political connotations, a theory reinforced by Virgils prophecy about the hound that will drive the she-wolf away, which some critics have read as a symbol for a great leader who would one day unite Italy. Virgil tells Dante that he lived in Rome during the time of Augustus, in the age of the false gods who lied. The fact that Virgil recognizes the old Roman gods as false and lying (in other words, non-Christian) instances Dantes use of a technique called intertemporalitythe mingling of elements from different time periods. Having entered into eternity, Virgillike many of Dantes other characterscan now see into times other than those in which he lived. He is thus able to understand what Dante considers truthful theology. The use of intertemporality permeates much of the artistic and literary tradition of medieval times; biblical characters, for example, were almost always represented in art as wearing medieval clothing, and the heathenism of medieval Muslims was emphasized by portraying them as worshipping the ancient Greek god Apollo. Yet,

while these forms of intertemporality often seem merely anachronistic, the technique is more aesthetically and logically satisfying within the context of Dantes poem: his characters can see beyond their time on Earth because in death they exist outside of time. While Dante portrays Virgil as having learned truths from future generations, he presents himself as having gained knowledge from Virgil, commenting that the ancient poet taught him the graceful style that has brought him fame (I.67). The graceful style denotes the tragic style of the ancients, the style of epic poemsthe Odyssey, the Iliad, the Aeneid. And Dante was indeed capable of commanding this high style; at the beginning of Canto II, his invocation of the Muses the traditional way to begin a classical epicechoes Virgils call for the Muses inspiration in the opening of the Aeneid. However, one may question the statement that it is this particular style that brought Dante fame: the poet elsewhere employs many other styles with equal skill. Dante clearly respects tradition but is not beholden to it, as is made clear by the way that he follows but also breaks from traditional uses of allegory, the trope of the Everyman, and intertemporality. As the remainder of the poem will make clear, his goal is not simply to mimic Virgil. Indeed, Dantes awareness of the differences between himself and Virgil may have contributed to his decision to name his work The Comedy: rather than employing exclusively high rhetoric, it frequently employs the simple, vernacular idiom of its time; and rather than using Latin, the traditional language of a grand epic, it is written in Italian, the language of the people, and a language that Dante hoped every man could understand.

2.
. through me you enter into the city of woes through me you enter into eternal pain, through me you enter the population of loss. ... abandon all hope, you who enter here. Dante reads these lines, which he finds inscribed on the Gate of Hell, as he and Virgil pass into the Ante-Inferno before the river Acheron in Canto III (III.17). These lines may be said to represent the voice of Hell, as they declare its nature, origin, and purpose, and thus pave the way for what is to come throughout the poem. First, the inscription portrays Hell as a city, which defines much of the geography of the poemHell is a geographically contained area bound by walls and containing a vast population of souls. Hell is thus a grotesque counterpart to Heaven, which Virgil describes as the city of God. Second, the inscription portrays Hell as a place of eternal woes, pain, and loss, situating it as the center of Gods strict punishment of sinners, a place from which there is supposed to be no escape (A B A N D O N A L L H O P E ).

CANTUL V In pragul celui de-al doilea cerc, Dante si V. il intalnesc pe Minois, judecatorul Infernului. Apoi, purtate de vartej, zaresc sufletele celor ce au pacatuit din dragoste, Paolo Malatesta si Francesca di Rimini. Francesca se opreste sa-i istoriseasca nefericita ei poveste - spiritele celor 2 par mai usoare decat celelalte Povestea: Francesca maritata cu Giaciotto Malatesta, care era diform. Se marita ca sa sa intareasca pacea intre familiile celor 2, dupa lunga perioada de dusmanie. Se indragosteste de Paolo, fratele sotului. Surprinsi de sot, sunt omorati amandoi. Francesca se plange ca, fiind ucisa prin surprindere, nu a apucat sa se pocaiasca Cei doi se indragostisere citind roman cavaleresc, deci amor curtenesc, deci pedeapsa e mai blanda pt. ca Dante nu e strain de amorul curtenesc.
Dante and Virgil now descend into the Second Circle of Hell, smaller in size than the First Circle but greater in punishment. They see the monster Minos, who stands at the front of an endless line of sinners, assigning them to their torments. The sinners confess their sins to Minos, who then wraps his great tail around himself a certain number of times, indicating the number of the circle to which the soul must go. Like Charon, Minos recognizes Dante as a living soul and warns him not to enter; it is Virgils word that again allows them to pass unmolested. Dante and Virgil pass into a dark place in which torrential rains fall ceaselessly and gales of wind tear through the air. The souls of the damned in this circle swirl about in the wind, swept helplessly through the stormy air. These are the Lustfulthose who committed sins of the flesh. Dante asks Virgil to identify some of the individual souls to him; they include many of great renown, including Helen, for whose sake the Trojan War was fought, and Cleopatra. Dante immediately feels sympathy for these souls, for essentially they are damned by love. With Virgils permission, he calls out to the souls to see if they will speak to him and tell him their story. One woman, Francesca, recognizes Dante as a living soul and answers him. She relates to him how love was her undoing: bound in marriage to an old and deformed man, she eventually fell in love with Paolo da Rimini, her husbands younger brother. One day, as she and Paolo sat reading an Arthurian legend about the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, each began to feel that the story spoke to their own secret love. When they came to a particularly romantic moment in the story, they could not resist kissing. Francescas husband quickly discovered their transgression and had the young lovers killed. Now Paolo and Francesca are doomed to spend eternity in the Second Circle of Hell. Overcome with pity, Dante faints again.

Dante draws the character of Minos both from the Aeneidand from ancient mythology, just as he takes the three-headed dog Cerberus from Greek stories of the afterlife. By placing pagan gods and monsters in an otherwise Christian model of the afterlife, Dante once again

demonstrates his tendency to mix vastly different religious and mythological traditions. This tendency speaks to two main aspects underlying the poem. First, it indicates the extent to which mythological and literary sources share space in Dantes imagination with religious and theological sources; Dante intends his work as a partly cultural and partly spiritual project. But this tendency also reflects Dantes intentions within the spiritual half of his project: he attempts to show Christianity as a supreme moral order. By subsuming pagan gods into the Christian conception of Hell, he privileges Christian thought as the authoritative system. Like the punishments administered in the prior circles, the punishments here correspond in grotesque aptness to the sins themselves. Thus, the Lustful, those who were obsessed with the stimulation of the flesh in life, now have their nerves unceasingly stimulated by the storm. Also, they lie prone and in the darkthe conditions in which acts of lust generally take place. Finally, because they failed to restrain the internal tempests of their emotions, external tempests now bludgeon their bodies. The punishment of the Gluttonous, whose sins also involved an obsession with bodily pleasure, is similarly appropriate. Those who excessively pursued pleasure in life now lie in an overabundance of that which disgusts. The excrement that douses them constitutes both the literal and figurative product of their greedy and wasteful consumption. Although Dante the poet remorselessly assigns illicit lovers to Hell, one senses that he may join his character Dante in pitying them their fates. Dante the poet intends to assert the existence of an objectively just moral universe; yet he also imbues Paolo and Francesca with great human feeling, and the sensual language and romantic style with which he tells their story has made this canto one of the most famous in the poem. Moreover, we know that the poet Dantes own life was marked by a deep love, his love for Beatrice, which he so beautifully expresses in his earlier poem Vita Nuova. Still, his damnation of the lovers suggests a moral repudiation of his own biographical and poetic past; in a certain sense, The Divine Comedy as a whole can be read as Dantes attempt to transpose his earthly love for Beatrice onto a spiritual, Christian, morally perfect plane. Part of this process involves renouncing earthly romance, however appealing it might seem, in favor of the saintly perfections of Heaven. While Dantes sympathy for Paolo and Francesca remains only implicit, this sympathy translates into occasional breaks with the moral order he asserts, making Dante more lenient in the punishments he assigns. Dido, for example, was a mythological queen who committed suicide because of her unrequited love for Aeneas. Most souls that have committed suicide end up far deeper in Hell, as we see later, but Dante chooses to punish Dido in accordance only with her lesser sinthat of loving too much. Dantes favoritism emerges even more clearly later in the poem, when we witness his treatment of other souls similarly guilty of multiple sins: to these he assigns punishments in accordance with their gravest crimes.

CANTUL XXVI Ajungand in cea de-a opta bolgie, Dante si V. zaresc in fundul ei nenumarate flacari fiecare invaluie si ascunde sufletul unui rau sfatuitor. Printre ei, se gasesc Diomede si Ulise, ce ard intr-o singura flacara. Ulise ii povesteste lui Dante calatoria in care si-a aflat moartea De ce e Ulise in Infern: - calul troian -fura cu Diomede statuia lui Palas Atena (Palladium) - il aduc pe Ahile pe campul de lupta de la Troia De ce nu isi vorbesc Ulise si Dante Odiseu nu mai e dornic sa se intoarca acasa, ci sa colinde marile; e mai degraba un barbat ce nu isi mai gaseste locul si linistea sufleteasca Francesco de Santis Harold Bloom ceva din indrazneala lui Ulise se regaseste si la Dante. Prin tacere, pelerinul crestin il saluta pe eroul grec ca pe un spirit inrudit. Dupa H. Bloom, pt D. Alighieri, a scrie Divina Comedie e ca si cum ar strabate fara harta o mare necunoscuta.
Having recognized these thieves as Florentines, Dante sarcastically praises Florence for earning such widespread fame not only on Earth but also in Hell. Virgil now leads him along the ridges to the Eighth Pouch, where they see numerous flames flickering in a deep, dark valley. Coming closer, Virgil informs Dante that each flame contains a sinner. Dante sees what appear to be two souls contained together in one flame, and Virgil identifies them as Ulysses and Diomedes, both suffering for the same fraud committed in the Trojan War. Dante desires to speak with these warriors, but Virgil, warning him that the Greeks might disdain Dantes medieval Italian, speaks to them as an intermediary. He succeeds in getting Ulysses to tell them about his death. Restlessly seeking new challenges, he sailed beyond the western edge of the Mediterranean, which was believed to constitute the rim of the Earth; legend asserted that death awaited any mariner venturing beyond that point. After five months, he and his crew came in view of a great mountain. Before they could reach it, however, a great storm arose and sank their ship. In Canto XXVI, Dante makes another strike at antiquity by placing its last remaining hero, Ulysses (known as Odysseus to the Greeks), in the Eighth Pouch of the Eighth Circle of Hell. Dante explains Ulysses presence in this section of Hell by referencing his role in the ruse of the Trojan Horse, which enabled the sacking of Troy by the Achaeans. But Dante probably had a number of different motivations for placing Ulysses so deep in Hell. First, we have seen that Dante reveres Rome; Ulysses, as an enemy of Aeneas, who later founded Rome, can be seen as an enemy of Rome as well. Dante may be reaping revenge on him. Additionally, he may intend the great Greek heros spiritual defeat here to remind readers of the Greeks eventual defeat by the Romans on Earth. But, as evidenced by his dismissal of Lucan and Ovid in the previous canto, Dante finds that even Roman antiquity contains flaws. Here, he implies that the advent of

Christianity has constituted an invaluable improvement for civilization: notwithstanding his honored place within Greek and Roman tradition, Ulysses behaved recklessly and fraudulently by Christian standards, and, in Dantes Hell, Christian morals always take precedence over ancient values. ANALYSIS At the beginning of Canto XXVI, Dante uses another political prophecy to propel the narrative and his political theme forward. Dante actually wishes this dark prophecy on his city. Because Dante was exiled at the time he wrote Inferno, these events had already come to pass. The retribution that the sinners of the eighth chasm suffer fits with the sin that they perpetrated in life. They gave evil counsel (particularly to religious leaders), and therefore, misused God's gifts. These souls worked in hidden ways, and they will spend eternity hidden from sight and burning in flames that symbolize a guilty conscience. The most dramatic event in Canto XXVI is Dante's meeting with Ulysses. Note that Ulysses and Diomede are punished for events that would have been acceptable, even praised, in the time in which they lived. Dante again falters from his concept that sinners are only punished according to the social standards of their time. Ulysses carried out the strategy of the Trojan Horse, which led to the fall of Troy and eventually, to the founding of the Roman line by Aeneas. Because Dante is partial to the Roman Empire, he sees this act as evil; however, another poet may see it as virtuous. Ulysses is also in the pit for two other acts: convincing Achilles to go on a journey, which caused Deidamia to die of heartbreak, and stealing a statue of Pallas from the Palladium, thus ensuring the downfall of Troy. Virgil's telling Dante not to speak to Ulysses and Diomede is significant, because the two shades would perceive Dante as a descendant of Aeneas (because he spoke Italian) and associate him with the fallen Trojans. Virgil, on the other hand, is a virtuous poet who sang their praises and is thus better suited to speak with them. Also, Dante does not speak Greek. But, Dante does not provide an explanation for how he understands Ulysses. Dante returns to his religious theme with the soul that the poets address in Canto XXVII, that of Count Guido da Montefeltro, a fallen friar who gave evil counsel to Pope Boniface. Dante does not miss an opportunity to bring attention to his belief that Boniface is evil; his name is scattered over the whole ofInferno, though he is not there presently he was still alive in 1300. There is a great deal of symbolism and metaphor in Cantos XXVI and XXVII, perhaps more than anywhere else in Inferno. The language deserves mention: Dante, at this point in the narrative, becomes a better and tighter poet, able to speak in distinctive voices that seem genuine. For example, compare the power of the voice of Ulysses to some of the other stories in the text. Dante's narration of Ulysses' last voyage is some of the best poetry and one of the highlights of the entire Inferno.

The story is apparently an invention by Dante, and while beautiful in itself, serves also to display Dante's increasing sureness of touch in the handling of his material. Ulysses seems to be speaking in his own words, not Dante's, in contrast with the story of Francesca. The story of Ulysses is the compelling, unembellished yarn of an experienced and courageous sailor.

Implications of Dantes Placing of Ulysses in Hell The encounter with Ulysses in Canto XXVI of Dante s Inferno is famously fraught with interpretive problems. Why is the great hero Ulysses not only in Hell but as low as the eighth bolgia? How do we understand the apparent originality of Ulysses s last voyage and death as Dante gives it? Why are Ulysses and Diomed suffering together inside one flame (58), in anger with each other (56)? (All parenthetical citations to The Inferno come from Mark Musa s translation, published by Penguin Books [originally in 1984, itself a revised version of an earlier publication].) And why is Dante the Pilgrim so eager to speak with Ulysses, his question anticipated by Virgil? The answers to these questions, to my mind more than any others raised within the Inferno, implicate Virgil, Dante the Pilgrim and the author, and ourselves as readers. The story of Ulysses s journey past the pillars of Herakles -- including his discovery of a new land (137), a narrow pass with an endless[ly] (134) high mountain (the Mount of Purgatory, opposite Jerusalem) in the distance, five months into the voyage -- and his ship s destruction by four blasts of whirling wind has no literary precedent. It has been pointed out that there is no evidence that Dante knew The Odyssey (Halpern 191, note 56). This is irrelevant in this case, however, because The Odyssey is not, as its educated classical readers well knew (but as we rarely teach today), the end of Ulysses s story; though The Odyssey ends happily, it does so because it terminates the story at a convenient point, although it includes the prophecy that Odysseus s death would come from the sea. Dante did not have to know The Odyssey to know that (as elaborated in Eugamon of Cyrene s Telagonia) Ulysses would be killed unwittingly on a beach by his son Telegonus, whom he fathered with Circe (as if the fruits of his voyaging and philandering were coming home to roost) and who would go on to marry Penelope, the wife whose virtue The Odyssey champions. Dante did not have to know or pay attention to this myth of Ulysses s death, which he might have favored because it would grant the opportunity to portray Ulysses unfavorably but which may not have suited his (narrative, if only in as much as Dante s version helps to establish the geography of the world and thus foreshadow Purgatory, as well as moral, in as much as Dante s version stresses Ulysses s restless nature rather than his sexual indiscretions) purposes as much as his own myth of Ulysses s demise. In any case, this apparent incongruity is quite classical; the Greeks (and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the Romans) did not expect consistency from their myths and eschewed the idea of a single, unified mythological narrative. (The urge to tell what happened to Odysseus after The Odyssey continues, as evidenced by Nkos Kazantzkis s 1938 33,333-line sequel to The Odyssey.) In a case of Virgil s strange mind-reading ability (which he exhibits throughoutThe Inferno), he knows what Dante wishes to say to Ulysses and demands to speak for him. His stated reason since they were Greeks, / they might not pay attention to your words (74-75) may remind us that the Romans, the glory of Italy, was founded, in Virgil s own epic (which he references in line 82), by Trojans, remembered as the Greeks enemy. But Virgil, even more than Dante, would be aligned with the enemy in Ulysses s eyes. No one has satisfactorily explained Virgil s protestation that a Greek might pay attention to him and not to Dante. Ulysses s sins, as suggested by Virgil, seem to be the [deceitful] ambush / of the [Trojan] horse (58-59), the trick that caused the grief / of Dedamia [King Lycomedes s daughter from whom the two removed, through trickery, Achilles, who was disguised as a woman to avoid the Trojan War] (61-62), and the Palladium [the sacred statue of Athena that mythically protected Troy and which the two stole] (63). Indeed, Ulysses was known as crafty or tricky, as Homer s repeated epithets for him attest, and this list of sins may help to explain why he and Diomed suffer

together, perhaps blaming each other for their mutual wrongs. Slthough Diomed was associated with Ulysses, there is no precedent for their anger against each other. But these sins can only remind us that trickery is often used in war, the Trojan horse such a classic maneuver that it has become a generic term; that Dedamia s personal response to the conscription of Achilles, if a sin, would make the conscription of anyone with loved ones a sin; and that the Palladium was a pagan statue, not a Christian one. Moreover, Ulysses himself attempted, like Achilles, to avoid the Trojan War in his case by feigning madness and sewing his fields with salt until his son, Telemachus, was placed before his plow. One would think that avoiding conscription, attempting to let others die without the strategy and supernatural might of a Ulysses or Achilles, would be a greater sin than tricking someone into admitting what is, after all, the truth that Achilles is Achilles (or that Ulysses is sane); this, however, gets us into the issue of Dante s contrapasso, of the punishments he meets out and their poetic or moral appropriateness, always a difficult issue with The Inferno. It would seem, however, that Ulysses is condemned by his general reputation for trickery or out of latter classical revisionist history, evident in the fact that we are dealing with Ulysses and not Odysseus and that saw him as a cowardly schemer (as Virgil himself portrayed Ulysses) instead of brave and cunning Greek warrior. But Ulysses, of course, is also the archetypal journeyer, a role Ulysses emphasizes while ignoring the sins Virgil ascribes to him. Ulysses himself blames his death, if not his damnation, on the burning wish / to know the world and have experience / of all man s vices, of all human worth (97-99), to follow paths of excellence and knowledge (120) as he recounts putting it to his men, a desire more powerful, in Ulysses s self-condemnation, than sweetness of a son, ... reverence / for an aging father, ... [and] debt of love / ... owed Penelope (94-96). He recounts imploring his crew: during this so brief vigil of our senses [i.e. life] that is still reserved to us [before death], do not deny yourself experience of what there is beyond, beyond the sun, in the world they call unpeopled (114-117). It is hard not to see the similarities between Ulysses, interpreted as such, and Dante the Pilgrim. Dante s enthusiasm at speaking with Ulysses and learning, if we are to believe Virgil that he knows what Dante wants to ask, how Ulysses died echoes Ulysses s enthusiasm for knowledge. This enthusiasm on Dante s part seems almost groupie-like: If it is possible for them to speak from within those flames, I said, master, I pray and repray you let my prayer be like a thousand that you do not forbid me to remain until the two-horned flame [containing Ulysses and Diomed] comes close to us; you see how I bend towards it with desire! (61-66) This may only be another case of Dante the Pilgrim mirroring the sin of those he sees, but there is a deeper, more universal in terms of the narrative, way in which Dante the Pilgrim mirrors Ulysses one unique to this particular portion ofThe Inferno. After all, though there may be an impiety in Ulysses s yearning to know even vice, is this not the entire point of Dante and us, by proxy visiting Hell? What is The Divine Comedy but Dante s Christian odyssey? In The Odyssey, Ulysses also journeyed to an underworld albeit Pluto s and not Satan s, a crucial difference. If our pilgrim mirrors the sin of each canto, surely he mirrors Ulysses s sin in the deepest, most generic way: after all, both characters are the protagonists in epics of journey, even of journeys with predetermined goals,nostalgic, in the original definition of longing for home, in both cases one home being a marriage bed and the other the heavenly union with God, a classic, if not stereotypical, pagan-Christian split. But this mirroring effect is deeper here than anywhere else because it also works on a meta level: both Dante and Virgil are themselves writers of epics of journey. On a deeper level, writing a poetic depiction of Hell and Heaven, as Milton and his contemporaries knew, risks blasphemy by its very success. In order to depict such things in poetic narrative, one has to take poetic license, imposing one s views on God, granting spatiality and character to divine figures a tricky prospect even if one claims divine inspiration. In short, Dante s epic is itself a titanic quest with hubristic implications.

We too, as pilgrims by proxy, are implicated. The reason we react in surprise at Ulysses s condemnation is not that he was the hero of a famous epic (Would anyone care if Aeneis were condemned?), but precisely that he symbolizes the quest. Would Leopold Bloom be in Hell today? In an epoch of personal journeys in pop psychology and literature, a period that has seen voyages to the moon and probes (including the famous Voyager) beyond, we valorize Ulysses. Ulysses s condemnation, therefore, not only implicates us as pilgrims by proxy but challenges values inherent to the modern condition. We may even be inclined to see this as a precursor, though not necessarily a conscious one, to the guilty reader as a modern literary device.

Dante Alighieri
Thirty-five years old at the beginning of the story, Dantethe character as opposed to the poet has lost his way on the true path of life; in other words, sin has obstructed his path to God. The Divine Comedy is the allegorical record of Dantes quest to overcome sin and find Gods love; in Inferno, Dante explores the nature of sin by traveling through Hell, where evil receives punishment according to Gods justice. Allegorically, Dantes story represents not only his own life but also what Dante the poet perceived to be the universal Christian quest for God. As a result, Dante the character is rooted in the Everyman allegorical tradition: Dantes situation is meant to represent that of the whole human race.

For this reason, Dante the character does not emerge as a particularly well-defined individual; although we know that he has committed a never-specified sin and that he participates in Florentine politics, we learn little about his life on Earth. His traits are very broad and universal: often sympathetic toward others, he nonetheless remains capable of anger; he weeps at the sight of the suffering souls but reacts with pleasure when one of his political enemies is torn to pieces. He demonstrates excessive pride but remains unsatisfied in many respects: he feels that he ranks among the great poets that he meets in Limbo but deeply desires to find Beatrice, the woman he loves, and the love of God. Dante fears danger but shows much courage: horrified by Hell, he nevertheless follows his guide, Virgil, through its gates. He also proves extremely emotional, as shown by his frequent fainting when he becomes overly frightened or moved. As the story progresses, Dante must learn to reconcile his sympathy for suffering with the harsh violence of Gods justice; the deeper he proceeds into Hell, the less the agonies of the damned affect him. Virgil encourages him to abhor sin and not pity the justice meted out to sinners; Dante must achieve this level of stringent moral standards before he may begin his journey to Heaven, played out in Purgatorio and Paradiso. Because Dante the character is a fictional creation of Dante the poet, the reader should remember that the characters feelings do not always correspond to those of the poet. For instance, when Dante sees Brunetto Latini among the Sodomites in Canto XV, Dante the character feels deeply moved and treats his patron kindly and with compassion. But outside the poem, Dante the poet has chosen to condemn his former patron to damnation; by placing him

among the Sodomites, he implies that Latini was homosexual, a vicious slur in fourteenth-century Italy. Indeed, on a general level, the kindness and compassion of Dante the character often contrasts with the feelings of Dante the poet, who, after all, has devised excruciating torments with which to punish his characters, many of whom are historical individuals with whom Dante was acquainted in life.

Virgil
The only character besides Dante to appear all the way through Inferno, Virgils ghost is generally taken by critics to represent human reason, which guides and protects the individual (represented by Dante/Everyman) through the world of sin. As befits a character who symbolizes reason, Virgil proves sober, measured, resolute, and wise. He repeatedly protects Dante from hostile demons and monsters, from Charon to the Centaurs; when he appears powerless outside the gates of the city of Dis in Canto VIII, his helplessness appears very ominous, signifying that Lower Hell offers far darker dangers than Upper Hell. Virgils reliance on the angelic messenger in this scene also symbolizes the fact that reason is powerless without faithan important tenet of Dantes moral philosophy and one that marks Inferno as a Christian poem, distinct from the classical epics that preceded it. In the fullest sense of the word, Virgil acts as Dantes guide, showing him not only the physical route through Hell but also reinforcing its moral lessons. When Dante appears slow to learn these lessonssuch as when he sympathizes with sinners or attempts to remain too long in one region of HellVirgil often grows impatient with him, a trait that humanizes this otherwise impersonal shade. Dante the character and Dante the poet seem to regard Virgil differently. Dante the character regards Virgil as his master, constantly swearing his admiration for, and trust in, him. Dante the poet, however, often makes use of Inferno to prove his own poetic greatness in comparison to the classical bards who preceded himincluding Virgil, who lived more than a thousand years before Dante. In Dantes time, Virgil, the author of the Aeneid, was considered the greatest of the Roman poets. As with many of his other classical and mythological appropriations, Dantes inclusion of Virgil in his poem denotes both an acknowledgment and appreciation of classical tradition and, to some degree, a form of bragging on Dantes part: for while he respects Virgil enough to include him in his work, he also suggests that his poem subsumes Virgil entirely.

STRUCTURA INFERNULUI
-forma conica, cercuri concentrice U.Eco citim mai mult Infernului, pt ca ne mai familiar Georges Minois Istoria Infernurilor forma de palnie a Infernului sugereaza patrunderea progresiva a raului in suflet 3 mari zone: Inf. Sup 3 cercuri pacate legate de imperfectiunea umana, predispunerea umana la desfrau, lacomie etc. Inf. Inf. 4 cercuri bolgie/bolgii Separarea e data de pacatele cu premeditare sau nu din interior spre exterior se misca tot mai lent primu mobile principiu artistotelic Minois In infernul dantesc, pacatele sunt ispasite cu pedepse de aceeasi natura.Pedeapsa e repetitiva si eterna, deoarece pacatosul a avut posibilitatea sa se indrepte in timpul vietii, dar n-a facut-o. In struct. Infernului, Dante copiaza modelul cosmologic aristotelic, model dezvoltat de Ptolemeu in sec. 1-2 d.e.n. univers geocentric, cu Pamantul in centrul universului A fi in centrul universului = a fi in cel mai rau loc, cel mai departat de divinitate la antici corpurile ceresti erau zeii vizibili conceptie pastrata in Evul Mediu

GENERALITATI Dante (1265 1321) Vico filozof al culturii, italian D.A. = Homer al Toscanei intra intr-o calatorie initiatica, pusa in limba vernaculara Divina Comedia, scrisa intre 1308-1321 Boccaccio adauga atributului de Divina Comedia sufletului poem alegoric al Evului Mediu (comedie celesta) - conceput sub forma de dialog in care virtutile si viciile isi disputa sufletul - se deschide in Infern, asociat cu raul pt ca aici sunt viciile - in Purgatoriu are loc curatarea pacatelor, virtuti, ratiune => pt. a ajunge in Paradis e nevoie de credinta, prin mantuire, bine, divintate (RATIUNE + CREDINTA) IN CENTRUL COSMOLOGIEI DANTESTI E BEATRICE!! Dante, Vita nuova Beatrice Portinari sursa de inspiratie pt Beatrice, = fiica unui bogat negustor florentin 3 nr. cu valente sacre la Dante (3 parti in comedie, 33 de canturi in fiecare, cu exceptia Infernului) prima intalnire cu B. la 9 ani (aveau aceeasi varsta); ea e imbracata in rosu, el se indragosteste iremediabil

a doua intalnire 18 ani o vede iesind de la Biserica, imbracata in alb, insotita de 2 doamne, se saluta. El merge acasa si are un vis straniu, terifiant in care ii apare Eros a treia intalnire la o nunta, Beatrice si prietenele ei isi bat joc de el

Dulcele stil nou poezii in traditia amorului curtenesc (dupa nunta, Dante iubiri paravan??? in traditia amorului curtenesc, pune obstacole intre ei) Numele < beatitudine, credinta Beatrice = faptura angelica, ii confera lui Dante un rol important in ierarhia cereasca a mantuirii = gnoza lui Dante, intermediar, fara alta ierarhie, cunoasterea pt Dante = geniul lui Dante Influente in Divina Comedie Poeti Vergiliu, Ovidiu, Statiu, Lucan Istorici si naturalist Titus Livius, Plinius Teologi si filozofi Aristotel, sf. Toma DAquino, parintii Bisericii Lirica iubirii curtenesti + cultul catolic pt Fecioara Maria Infernul dantesc un amestec de lit. culta si credinte populare