The episode of Francesca and Paolo, the first in which Dante encounters someone punished in hell for their sins in the Inferno, presents a challenge: Dante-character is overcome by compassion for the lovers even as Dante-poet has damned them to hell in the first place. What are the possible consequences of this apparent gap between the perspectives of the character and the poet who are both "Dante"?

The episode of Francesca and Paolo, the first in which Dante encounters someone punished in hell for their sins in the Inferno, presents a challenge: Dante-character is overcome by compassion for the lovers even as Dante-poet has damned them to hell in the first place. What are the possible consequences of this apparent gap between the perspectives of the character and the poet who are both "Dante"

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TheDivine Comedy is a fourteenth-century epic poem written by the popular Italian poet Dante Alighieri. The poem is separated into three parts: Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Heaven). In the first part, Dante, together with his dear friend and guide Virgil, goes on a journey through the...

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The Divine Comedy is a fourteenth-century epic poem written by the popular Italian poet Dante Alighieri. The poem is separated into three parts: Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Heaven). In the first part, Dante, together with his dear friend and guide Virgil, goes on a journey through the Nine Circles of Hell, where he meets the sinners and witnesses their punishments. Here, Dante makes a very interesting distinction between two different versions of himself: Dante the Poet and Dante the Pilgrim.

While both the Poet and the Pilgrim are, essentially, the same person, Dante makes sure to tell us that there are several key differences between the two characters. Thus, Dante the Poet is very rational, concise, and sometims even ruthless. He is the one who describes the sinners' punishments and the one who tells us how Dante the Pilgrim behaves on his journey. Dante the Pilgrim, on the other hand, is rather emotional and compassionate, and he often feels sorry for the sinners' fates and their cruel punishments; this is mainly because he knows that he is human too and that he can sin and make mistakes just like everyone else.

In canto 5, Dante describes the Second Circle of Hell, where the lustful are forever condemned to be blown about by powerful, stormy winds. Here, he meets Francesca da Rimini, a young Italian woman who was married to a powerful, rich, and crippled man named Giovanni Malatesta. However, she fell in love with her husband's brother Paolo Malatesta and began a sexual relationship with him. Giovanni soon realized that his wife was unfaithful and caught Francesca and Paolo in the act and stabbed them both to death. Thus, their souls were banished to Hell.

Dante the Pilgrim feels pitty for them and their tragic love story. He is, basically, able to feel their pain and even faints "as if he had met his death." Dante the Poet, on the other hand, is the one who put Francesca and Paolo in Hell in the first place. This is where we see the difference in their personalities and the gap between the perspectives of both Dantes. The most important consequence of this gap is the fact that Dante the Pilgrim slowly begins to transform into Dante the Poet, and this transformation starts when he meets Francesca and Paolo.

Dante the Pilgrim understands the lovers and feels their suffering, but he realizes that there is nothing he can do to change their fates. From this point on, Dante the Pilgrim gradually turns into Dante the Poet. As he goes deeper and deeper in Hell, he becomes less emotional and compassionate and believes that some of the sinners deserve their punishments; his viewpoint changs completely and he begins to think just like Dante the Poet.

Francesca and Paolo's tragic love story basically made Dante the Pilgrim realize that he is in Hell, and the souls who are banished here were, essentially, bad people who chose to be sinful. Dante the Pilgrim, who was full of understanding and sympathy, turned into Dante the Poet who was judgmental and didn't approve of the adulterous affair between Francesca and Paolo.

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