The Devil In Dante
Dante Alighieri (Born Florence 1265,
under the sign of Gemini (between May 21 and June 20).
Died 1321) is undeniably Italy's greatest poet and also one of the major figures in
western European literature. He is best known for his epic poem, La commedia,
later named La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy).
The Divine Comedy is composed of three works, Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise. As Britannica says:
This great work of medieval literature
is a profound Christian vision of man's temporal and eternal destiny. On its most personal level, it
draws on the poet's own experience of exile from his native city of Florence; on its most
comprehensive level, it may be read as an allegory, taking the form of a journey through hell,
purgatory, and paradise. The poem amazes by its array of learning, its penetrating and
comprehensive analysis of contemporary problems, and its inventiveness of language and imagery.
By choosing to write his poem in Italian rather than in Latin, Dante decisively influenced the course
of literary development. Not only did he lend a voice to the emerging lay culture of his own
country, but Italian became the literary language in western Europe for several centuries. In
addition to poetry Dante wrote important theoretical works ranging from discussions of rhetoric to
moral philosophy and political thought.
|The plot of The Divine Comedy is simple: a man, generally assumed to be Dante himself, is
miraculously enabled to undertake an ultramundane journey, which leads him to visit the souls in
Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. He has two guides: Virgil, who leads him through the Inferno and
Purgatorio, and Beatrice, who introduces him to Paradiso.
Amongst other noteworthy accomplishments, is Dante's portrayal of Satan, comment upon which can be found here.