The Divine Comedy Questions and Answers
by Dante Alighieri

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How is the theme of good vs evil relevant to The Divine Comedy?

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The opening of Dante's work is reflective of the pilgrim who is searching for meaning in life.  The search for meaning revolves around the central questions of what defines individual identity and what choices individuals should make:  “Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost.”  The "forest dark" is reflective of a condition in which individuals struggle to make decisions about the paths between good and evil.  The theme of good and evil is critical to Dante's work.

The layout of the inferno is predicated upon the choices made between good and evil.  Individuals who choose the latter are condemned to different layers of hell.  The...

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