Describe Dante's use of the numbers 3, 9, and 10 in the Divine Comedy, but specifically reference The Inferno?

Expert Answers info

Ellen O'Keefe, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookPh.D. from University of Miami (Fla.)


calendarEducator since 2016

write753 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Arts, and Law and Politics

Of these numbers, three is the most significant in Dante's Divine Comedy, particularly in Inferno

The Divine Comedy as a whole is divided into three sections: Inferno, Purgatio, and Paradiso, the three places people can go after they die. The poems take place over three days, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the most significant period of time in Christianity, when Jesus was crucified and three days later, rose from the dead to save all humankind from sin. The Catholic Church also believes in the Holy Trinity of the Father (God), Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. All three of the poems in The Divine Comedy are divided into 33 Cantos and each Canto is written in terza rima (three line stanzas with a rhyme scheme). In other words, the number three is reflected in the content and form of the poems.

To give a more specific example from Inferno , in Canto I, Dante is accosted by three ferocious beasts that represent three temptations that can lead people from the righteous path into "the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 543 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

lynnebh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,203 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial