Critical Companion to Dante: A Literary Reference to His by Jay Rudd

By Jay Rudd

Sifting conscientiously during the voluminous literature, Ruud (English, U. of valuable Arkansas) bargains scholars and common readers an creation to Italian poet Dante (1265-1321) and his works. A biography is through unique statement at the Divine Comedy and his lesser recognized writings. one of the appendices are a chronology and an inventory of net resources.

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When Dante approaches, Minos accosts him, warning him to be careful about whom he trusts. Virgil steps in once more, admonishing Minos not to hinder what has been willed on high. The poets pass into the second circle, the first of a series of rounds dealing with sins of appetite and lack of control—the kinds of sins represented by the she-wolf in Canto 1. As the poets stand on a ledge looking into circle two, they see thousands of shades being blown about wildly by a raging whirlwind. These are the souls of the lustful, who in life were driven by their own passions.

23 diso. That we are dealing with the influential poet Dante is also clear in Purgatorio 24, when the Luccan poet Bonagiunta praises Dante for his “sweet new style” (DOLCE STIL NOVO). His poetic vocation is also foregrounded in Cacciaguida’s charge to him in Paradiso 17 to write all he has seen and hold nothing back. Further, the protagonist is clearly the historical Dante, citizen of Florence, in his political beliefs—his looking forward to a world emperor to curb the secular power of the papacy, his enmity with Ghibellines like Farinata in Inferno 10 or the Black Guelphs whom he condemns in Paradiso 15.

In what he later refers to as contrapasso (Canto 27, l. 142), Dante imagines for every sin a punishment appropriate to the crime. Retribution in Dante’s Hell requires either that the sinners eternally repeat their sin in some symbolic form, or, in some cases, that they be eternally reminded of the sin by engaging in behavior that directly contrasts with their sin. In this case the sinners who never followed any real goal or leader in their lives must eternally chase a meaningless and constantly shifting banner.

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