The Divine Comedy Questions and Answers
by Dante Alighieri

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How does Dante's Divine Comedy relate to the concept of redemption?

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As other postings indicate, the central theme clearly concerns redemption. The poem is incredibly tightly woven with recurring motifs that drive forward that message from multiple angles. Each insight per each canto is necessary to fully appreciate the lesson that follows. The plot itself is literally a story of Dante the Pilgrim's journey to Paradise, so on the most basic of level, the poem is a story of redemption. The allegory uses that driving plot line to illuminate the analogous spiritual journey from blindness, temptation, and weakness to enlightenment, free from distorted appetite.

Further, Dante the poet casts himself as a Pilgrim and puts himself on this journey. The opening canto suggests that Dante is having a midlife crisis in which he is lost "in dark woods" and psychologically and spiritually lost. In Robert Pinksy's translation, the poem begins with an overt claim of such: "Midway on our life's journey, I found myself / In dark woods, the right way lost." The work of the...

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