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Andrew Her Harmanpreet Singh Inferno Dante Alighieri

Durante degli Alighieri, known commonly as Dante, was a major Italian poet of the Middle Ages. Dante was born in lorence, Italy and although his birth day is unknown they belie!ed it to be around "#$%. He claimed that his family was descended from the ancient &omans and the only relati!e he mentioned by name was 'acciaguida degli (lisei. Dantes father was Alighiero di )ellincione who was a *hite +uelph. His mother was )ella, who died before Dante was ",. His father soon married again after the death to -apa di 'hiarissimo 'ialuffi. Although it was uncertain if they were really married she ga!e him one boy and one girl. At the age of "#, he was promised to wed +emma di Manetto Donati but by this time he had fallen in lo!e with )eatrice .ortinari, whom he met when he was /. Although married to +emma he ne!er spoke of her in any of his poems but of )eatrice. 0he e1act date of the marriage was unknown, only that it was before his e1ile in "2,". He had three children with +emma, .ietro, 3acopo, and Antonia. Antonia later became a nun, taking the name Sister )eatrice. Dante said he first met )eatrice .ortinari, at age nine, and claimed to ha!e fallen in lo!e with her 4at first sight,4 without e!en talking to her. He saw her fre5uently after the age "6, often e1changing greetings in the street, but ne!er knew her well. In many of his poems, she is depicted as semi7di!ine, watching o!er him constantly and pro!iding spiritual instruction, sometimes harshly. *hen )eatrice died in "#/,, Dante sought refuge in -atin literature. He then dedicated himself to philosophical studies at religious schools like the Dominican one in Santa

Maria 8o!ella. He took part in the disputes that the two principal mendicant orders, the 9 ranciscan and the Dominican:, publicly or indirectly held in lorence, the former e1plaining the doctrines of the mystics and of St. )ona!enture, the latter e1pounding on the theories of St. 0homas A5uinas. At "6, Dante met +uido 'a!alcanti, -apo +ianni, 'ino da .istoia and soon after )runetto -atini; together they became the leaders of the dolce stil novo. )runetto later recei!ed special mention in the Divine Comedy 9Inferno, <=, #6: for what he had taught Dante> Nor speaking less on that account I go With Ser Brunetto, and I ask who are his most known and most eminent companions. Some fifty poetical commentaries by Dante are known 9the so7called ime, rhymes:, others being included in the later !ita Nuova and Convivio. Dante?s Military -ife> Dante fought with the +uelph ca!alry at the )attle of 'ampaldino, 3une "", "#6/. 0he !ictory brought a religious mo!ement of the lorentine constitution. 0o take any part in public life, they had to enroll in one of the city?s many commercial or artisan guilds, so Dante entered the .hysicians? and Apothecaries? +uild. 0hroughout the following years, he spoke or !oted in the !arious councils of the republic. After defeating the +hibellines, the +uelphs di!ided into two parties, the *hite +uelphs, led by =ieri dei 'erchi and the )lack +uelphs, led by 'orso Donati. 0he *hites took power first and e1pelled the )lacks. In response, .ope )oniface =III planned a military occupation of lorence. In "2,", 'harles of =alois, brother of @ing .hilip I= of rance, was e1pected to !isit lorence because the .ope had appointed him peacemaker for 0uscany. .ope )oniface 5uickly dismissed the other delegates and asked Dante alone to remain in &ome. At the same time on 8o!ember ", "2,", 'harles of =alois entered lorence with the )lack +uelphs, who destroyed a lot of the city and killed many of their enemies. A new )lack +uelph go!ernment was installed, and 'ante de? +abrielli da +ubbio was appointed a high

official to the city. Dante was condemned to e1ile for two years and ordered to pay a large fine. 0he poet was still in &ome where the .ope had suggested he stay, and was therefore considered a fugiti!e. He did not pay the fine, because he belie!ed he was not guilty and because all his assets in lorence had been seiAed by the )lack +uelphs. If he returned to lorence without paying the fine, he would be burned at the stake. At some point during his e1ile, he wrote the Comedy, but the date was ne!er determined. In "2"# Henry fought against lorence and defeated the )lack +uelphs, but there was no e!idence that Dante had participated. Some say that he refused to participate in the assault on his city by a foreigner; others had said that he had become unpopular with the *hite +uelphs. Henry =II died from a fe!er in "2"2, and all hope for Dante to see lorence again perished. He returned to =erona, where 'angrande I della Scala allowed him to li!e. In "2"%, lorence was forced by Bguccione della aggiuola to grant freedom to those you were e1iled, including Dante. )ut lorence re5uired public penance in addition to a hea!y fine. Dante refused, and said he preferred to remain in e1ile. *hen Bguccione defeated lorence, Dante was put on house arrest if he went back to lorence to swear he would ne!er enter the town again. He refused to go, and his death sentence was confirmed and e1tended to his sons. He still hoped that he would be in!ited back to lorence on honorable terms. or Dante, e1ile was like a form of death, stripping him of his identity and his heritage. .rince +uido 8o!ello da .olenta in!ited him to &a!enna in "2"6, and he accepted. He finished "aradiso, and died in "2#" at the age %$, while returning to &a!enna from a diplomatic mission to =enice, possibly of malaria contracted there. He was buried in &a!enna at the 'hurch of San .ier Maggiore later called San rancesco. )ernardo )embo, then built a tomb for him in "C62. lorence began to regret Dante?s e1ile, and the city made attempts for the return of his remains. 0he custodians of the body in &a!enna refused, at one point going so far as to conceal the bones in a false wall of

the monastery. In "6#/ a tomb was built for him in lorence in the basilica of Santa 'roce but has been empty since his remains were still in &a!enna.

Inferno, which is Italian for DHellE, is the first part of Dante?s epic entitled Di!ine comedy 9parts two and three are tentati!ely titled .urgatorio and .aradiso:. Inferno is a allegorical telling of the 3ourney of Dante through Hell whilst being guided by the &oman poet =irgil. It is written in the form of 'antos, and there are a total of 2C 'antos. 0he first two 'antos function as an introduction, presenting the main dramatic situation and maneu!ering Dante and =irgil to the entrance of Hell, where the rest of the poem takes place. 0he poem begins with the poet Dante wandering through a dark forest, ha!ing lost his way on the Dtrue pathE. He sees abo!e him a great hill that seems to offer protection from the shadowed forest that he is in, and so he attempts to climb towards the light. Howe!er, as he climbs, he encounters three angry beasts 9a leopard, a lion, and a she7wolf: which force him to turn back. Bpon returning to the shadowed glen, he sees a human form which re!eals itself to be the great &oman poet =irgil, who tells Dante that the she7wolf he encountered will kill all who approach her but someday, a hound will come and chase her back to hell. He also warns Dante that before they climb the hill, they must first pass through the place of eternal punishment 9hell: and then a place of lesser punishment 9purgatory: before they reach +od?s city. 9hea!en:. 0he rest of the 'antos describe the journey of Dante and =irgil through the nine circles of hell, which are as follows> -imbo 9":, -ust 9#:, +luttony 92:, +reed 9C:, *rath 9%:, Heresy 9$:, =iolence 9F:, raud 96:, and 0reachery 9/:. As they pass through the gates of Hell, the final inscription abo!e them reads DAbandon all hope, ye who enter here.E )efore entering the first circle, howe!er, Dante and =irgil see the uncommitted souls of people who did nothing for either

good or e!il in life, along with outcasts who took no side in the rebellion of angels. 0hese souls are neither in Hell or outdside of it, but instead li!e on the shores of the Acheron, which separates the outside from the inner main hell. 0hese souls are punished to eternally pursue a banner while being constantly chased and stung by wasps and hornets as maggots and other insects drink their blood and tears. In order to enter the first circle of hell, Dante and =irgil must cross the ri!er Acheron from the boat of 'haron, who refuses to allow Dante to enter his ferry on account of him being a mortal. =ergil e1plains that Dante is on his journey on di!ine inter!ention, and so 'haron agrees. 0he actual passage of the Acheron is unsubscribed as Dante faints and wakes up at the other side. *e later learn that )eatrice, Dante?s lo!er who had passed away, aids Dante in that she is one of the belo!ed in hea!en that sends for =irgil to aid Dante on his perilous journey. Although much is not known about )eatrice, we know that Dante fell in lo!e with her at a young age, and that he ne!er fell out of it. In fact, part of Dante?s journey in the afterlife is to find his dearly departed. 0he first circle of hell, limbo, contains those who were unbaptiAed pagans and those who, although not sinful, did not accept 'hrist. =irgil himself resides in limbo. *hile tra!eling through the first circle, the duo also meet the poets Homer, Horace, and G!id, philosophers Socrates, .lato, and Aristotle, and many other historical and mythological figures. Dante implies that all !irtuous non 'hristians find themsel!es here. Inside the circle is a castle, where these figures li!e. )eyond the first circle, those who ha!e been condemned for deliberately willed sin are judged to one of the lower eight circles by the serpent Minos. Minos makes his judgment by wrapping his tail around himself a corresponding number of times. Sins of weakness in controlling one?s desires and urges are the mildest, while sins of anger and !iolence and fraud

appear lower down. 0he second circle of hell is for those who are to be condemned for being o!ercome by lust. 0he souls who are stuck here are constantly blown back and forth by the tumultuous winds of a !iolent storm without rest, which symboliAed the power of lust to blow one about needlessly. In this circle, Dante finds 'leopatra, Helen of 0roy, Achilles, and .aris, among others. urther down, in the third circle, the three headed dog 'erberus guards the gluttons, who are forced to lie in a !ile slush which has been produced by an unrelenting and ceaseless foul rain. =irgil is able to obtain passage by filling the mouths of 'erberus with mud. 0he fourth circle was reser!ed for the greedy and those who hoarded possessions and also those who s5uandered possessions from others. 0he two groups are guarded by .luto, and they joust, using great weights as weapons which they push with their chest. In the fifth circle, *rath, the wrathful fight each other on the surface of the swamp7like ri!er Sty1, while the sullen lie gurgling beneath the water. .hlegyas reluctantly transport Dante and =irgil across the Sty1. *hile crossing, Dante is accosted by ilippo Argenti, a )lack +uelph from a prominent family who took all of Dante?s property when he was forced to lea!e lorence. rom here on, the lower parts of hell are contained within the walls of the city Dis, which itself is surrounded by the Stygian marsh. 0he walls of Dis are guarded by fallen angels, and =irgil is unable to con!ince them to let Dante enter. It is here that an angel sent from hea!en secures entry for =irgil and Dante. 0he si1th circle of hell was reser!ed for the Heretics, who belie!ed that Dthe soul dies with the bodyE. 0hese souls were entrapped in flaming tombs. 0he se!enth circle of hell houses the !iolent. 0he entryway is guarded by the Minotaur and is di!ided into three rings> 0he outer ring, which houses people who are !iolent against their own and against property. 0he sinners are

immersed in the .hlegethon, a ri!er of boiling blood and fire. 'entaurs shoot arrows into any sinners who rise higher than allowed out of the ri!er. 0he middle ring is for suicides and profligates. 0he suicides are transformed into gnarled thorny bushes and are fed upon by harpies. 0he inner ring houses those who are !iolent against god and against nature. All of them reside in a desert of flaming sand with fire raining from the sky. 0he final two circles punish sins that in!ol!e conscious fraud or treachery. 0he eighth circle is for the fraudulent, and the circle is di!ided into ten )olgie, or ditches of stone> )olgia "> or the panderers and seducers, who are forced to march in seperate lines in opposite directions to be whipped by demons. )olgia #> latterers, who are steeped in human e1crement. )olgia 2> 0hose who ha!e committed simony, who are placed head first in holes in the rock with flames burning on the soles of their feet. )olgia C> Sorcerers, astrologers, and false prophets ha!e their heads twisted around so that they face backwards. )olgia %> 'orrupt politicians are immersed in a lake of boiling pitch. )olgia $> Hypocrites walk wearing gilded lead cloaks. )olgia F> 0hie!es who are pursued and bitten by snakes and liAAards. )olgia 6> raudulent ad!isers and e!il counsellors are concealed within indi!idual flames. )olgia /> Sowers of Discord are attacked by sword wielding demons. )olgia ",> alsifiers are inflicted with many different types of diseases. 0he ninth circle of hell is reser!ed for those who ha!e committed acts of treachery. 0here are four rounds of traitors, with each being froAen in a lake of ice in !arious depths based on their actions. 0he first and second rounds ha!e traitors froAen up to their chins. 0he third round

punishes traitors by forcing them to lie on the ground and has them froAen up to their faces. *ithin the fourth round, traitors are fully encased in ice, with their bodies distorted in any and all concei!able positions. 0he center of hell houses those who ha!e committed the ultimate sin> .ersonal treachery against god. 0his is where Satan is held. He is described as a giant, terrifying beast with three faces; one red, one black, and one pale yellow. He is waist deep in the ice, and in each of his mouths he has a traitor. )rutus and 'assius are in the left and right mouths beging chewed on by their ankles for their in!ol!ement in the assassination of 3ulius 'aesar, who was supposedly Ddi!inely appointedE to go!ern the world. In the center mouth is 3udas, who is the betrayer of 3esus. He has the most horrifying torture of the three traitors> His head is being chewed on while his back is being fore!er skinned by Satan?s claws. rom there, Dante and =irgil escape hell by climbing down Satan?s fur and through the center of the earth and emerge in the other hemisphere, which is described in .urgatorio.