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What motivated Dante to write The Divine Comedy?

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presley | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 14, 2008 at 3:11 AM via web

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What motivated Dante to write The Divine Comedy?

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clarendon | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 9, 2010 at 4:13 AM (Answer #1)

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Since the poem is such a multi-faceted work, there are several answers to this question.  First, as a great artist, Dante reflects the ideas, concerns, and attitudes of his time; The Divine Comedy is no less than a summation of the medieval European mind.

In a letter he wrote to his patron, Dante states that his goal was to lead his readers from the state of misery to the state of happiness.  In other words, the poem is supposed to teach the reader.

Finally, Beatrice is a major figure in the poem.  At the end of his poetic autobiography called La Vita Nuova, Dante says that he intends to write of Beatrice "that which has not ever been said of another."  So, in addition to being a religious, philosophical, and political poem, The Divine Comedy is an astonishing love poem.   

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conita12 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 19, 2011 at 4:40 AM (Answer #2)

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Dante' was paid by the Catholic church to present Hell in such a way as to scare people into coming to church to avoid the pits of hell. That was his motivatio. He was part of a conspiracy to draw in parishoners to increase the weatlh of the church.

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