Canto I: The Dark Wood. Good Friday

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Canto I: The Dark Wood. Good Friday . . Dantes Inferno In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost (27). 3 Beasts of Worldliness. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Dantes Inferno

Dantes Inferno

In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost (27).Canto I: The Dark Wood. Good Friday. 1


Note the use of 3 (Motif throughout the Inferno)Each represents 1/3 of Inferno (see diagram)

3 Beasts of Worldliness Leopard of: Malice & fraud

And behold, almost at the beginning of the steep, a leopard,it did not depart from before my face but rather impeded my way that I was at several turns to go back (29).

Lion of Violence

He appeared to be coming against me with his head high and with raging hunger, so that the air appeared to tremble at him (29). 4

she has a nature so evil and cruel that her greedy desire is never satisfied, and after feeding she is hungrier than before (31). She Wolf of: Incontinence

The she-wolf frightens Dante the mostit is in her that he recognizes his own sins.

she put on me so much heaviness with fearI lost hope of reaching the heights (29).

VirgilVirgil appears as the philosopher and light of reason sent to guide Dante through the depths of hell.

Dantes sin = veering from the true and righteous path in life. When I was falling down into a low place, before my eyes one had suffered himself to me who through long silence seemed hoarse (29). Virgil Arrives to guide Dante through Hell (and Purgatory)Dante recognizes Virgil as the famed poet and philosopher who had the misfortune of living before Christ. He is relieved for the guidance of Virgil, because he considers Virgil a very logical, wise man. Virgil


Dante recognizes Virgil as the famed poet and philosopher who lived before Christ. He is relieved 7Why Virgil? To Dante, the author, Virgil personifies human reason. Virgils most noted work is the Aeneidthe story of Aeneas escape from the sacking of Troy and his subsequent journey to Italy. *See more on Aeneas & Dido in Canto 5. Aeneas must travel through the Underworld on his trip to Italy, and Dantes Inferno has much in common with Virgils Aeneid. Both Aeneas and Dante are on a journey of selfBoth must experience hell before progressing in lifeBoth are epic poems

Virgil cont.d.But Virgil also represents poetic dominance in Dantes mind. Both are poets, and The Aeneid was a major work of literature that undoubtedly influenced Dante and his contemporaries.

Dante found inspiration in Virgils writing

You are my master and my author, you alone are he from whom I have taken the pleasing style that has won me honor (31).

9Retribution: Just? Dante is forced to journey through hell in order to recognize his sins or- the sins of all those who have wandered from the good, true path in life. This journey will test and terrify the pilgrim, but is it a just punishment for his wily ways? Yesin order to seek forgiveness, one must fully recognize and own ones sins. An eternity in heaven isnt a walk in the park, people. Own your actions!

Contemporary ConnectionThe Infamous Mid-life Crisis. Midway in the journey of our lives (Dante Canto 1).

The mid-life crisis is accredited to the feeling humans, face that half-way through my life, what do I have to show for my time on earth?

What follows: Rash decisions, reckless antics, and poor choices. And, perhaps the acquisition of a red, sports car convertible.

Sinner: Mel Gibson Gibson is sentenced to a journey through his personal fall. He must witness firsthand the hurt and damage he has caused his family, friends, and image.

Guide: His character, Benjamin Martin, from The Patriot. Martin represents a true, loyal, hard working family man who fights for his family and freedom. Gibson is also tormented by the temptation of the she-wolf of Incontinence. 12


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