Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) • Born in Florence • Held progressively more powerful positions in Florence • Banished in 1302 • Worked on Commedia during banishment
Dante During Banishment • Floated all over Europe • Influenced by: • French poetry • Italian vernacular • One of the most learned • Especially in art of classical Greek • Finished Comedy in Ravenna; died 1321
Divine Comedy • Originally Commedia (Comedy) • Divine added in 16th Century • Not funny by any means • Traveler begins low (Hell) and ends in Paradise. • A literal journey but incredibly symbolic
Divine Comedy • Literal level: • Journey through the lands of the dead • Symbolic • Spiritual pilgrimage of Christian soul from sin (Hell), purification (Purgatory), salvation (Paradise).
Divine Comedy • 3 parts • Inferno (Hell, guided by Virgil) • Purgatorio • Paradiso (Heaven, guided by Beatrice) • Inferno • Inferno the most widely read section • A journey through Hell • Entrance least harsh – Center most • Constructed as a huge funnel with ninedescending circular ledges • Sinners classified according to the nature of their sins. • “They got what they wanted” • Those who recognize and repudiate their sins are given a change to purify themselves in Purgatorio, the second of three segments in the poem. • Dante feels Hell is a necessary, painful first step of any man’s spiritual journey.
Inferno • The sinners in the nine rings of hell are guilty of one of three types of sin: • Incontinence: losing control of natural appetites and desires (sex) • Brutishness: attraction to things which repulse the healthy soul (violence) • Malice / Vice: abuse of reason, a human's most god-like quality
Inferno • Punishments: • Adulterous lovers united forever • Suicides body separated from soul • Violent immersed in boiling blood • Gluttons wallow in own excrement • Dane Cook forced to hear his own “jokes” • Innermost layer • Judas, Brutus, Cassius
The Corrupt Salvador Dali Watercolor 1961
Set-up of Comedy • Sacred numerology • 3, 9, 10 • 100 cantos (square of perfect 10) • Each division has 33 cantos • 9 (3x3) circles or spheres in each realm • Written in tercets (3 line stanzas) • Italian rhyme scheme terze rima (third rhyme) • Aba, bcb, cdc…
Homework • Read reading 2.20 From Dante’s Divine Comedy • Don’t skip the intro • Take Cornell Notes on reading – see handout, but take notes in notebook. • Possible quiz, definite discussion tomorrow.