The Divine Comedy Questions and Answers

The Divine Comedy

Dante's poem is a masterwork in medieval numerology, with profoundly deep intellectual and structural similarities related to where a particular sin or virtue is addressed. The overall theme of the...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2019 5:46 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

In addition to personal and practical motivations, Dante had an instructional purpose for writing The Divine Comedy. He wanted to provide lessons to readers about living ethically and following...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2018 6:53 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

The relationships that Dante describes between gods and humans can be divided into two broad categories. First, he considers above all the relationship between humans and the Christian God. In...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2019 6:27 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

Human nature is presented in The Divine Comedy as fundamentally sinful. Since man's original ancestors, Adam and Eve, defied God and ate from the Tree of Knowledge, humankind has been mired in sin....

Latest answer posted December 23, 2020 10:56 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

One important similarity between the two books lies in their respective treatment of the Church. Both Dante and Chaucer were, as with most people at the time, devout Christians. Yet at the same...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2017 8:33 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

Great question! It is important to define the term "allegory" before answering your query. An allegory is a story that can be read on two levels: the literal and the symbolic. The literal level of...

Latest answer posted April 28, 2019 5:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

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...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2014 12:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

In the Divine Comedy, Dante (the fictionalized version of the poet) has strayed from the right path both literally and figuratively and finds himself in a dark wood. He is unable to make his way...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2021 8:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

Epics traditionally were novels of poetry that followed "the Hero's Journey" plot line and often "invoked the muse." Some of the most famous examples of this prior to Dante's Inferno were the Iliad...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2018 6:37 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

Dante's view of salvation is rather complex, in keeping with the numerous strands of soteriology then operating in the world of medieval thought. (Soteriology is a branch of theology that deals...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2018 12:09 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

Dante's understanding of divine love was entirely in keeping with the prevailing theological and philosophical wisdom of the time. God's creation of the universe was regarded as a loving act, an...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2017 9:57 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

Inferno is the first part of the popular fourteenth-century epic poem The Divine Comedy written by famed poet Dante Alighieri. In it, Dante travels through Hell, alongside his trusted friend,...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2019 2:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

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...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2018 2:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

In Canto I, Dante, lost in the woods, wants to get to heaven, but his way is blocked by a wolf, a leopard and a lion, which represent his sin. The only way up to heaven is down through hell, the...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2016 2:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

In Dante's Divine Comedy and more specifically in the Inferno, the idea of the contrapasso serves as a unifying ironic feature. Unlike a poet such as Chaucer, whose satire is more overt and biting,...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2019 9:24 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

The ninth circle of Hell is made up of four different areas and its description extends from canto thirty-two to thirty-four. The ninth circle ends in the center of the Earth where Lucifer is stuck...

Latest answer posted December 24, 2011 2:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

After reaching the ninth sphere of Paradise, where the angels live, Dante enters the Empyrean, a place of light which is beyond matter, where God resides. He says that there his sight was...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2021 1:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

At this point in Purgatorio, we're well beyond the Valley of Princes which is the last level before the gate that leads to Purgatory proper with its seven terraces (see Cantos 7 and 8). It is only...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2010 8:13 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy remains one of the world’s most popular literary classics because at the time it was written is was the epitome of knowledge and experience. It was also remarkable because Dante...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2010 11:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

Francesca da Rimini was a contemporary of Dante's who carried on an affair with her husband's brother, Paolo Malatesta. Her husband, Giovanni Malatesta, killed both of them when he discovered they...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2019 7:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

Beatrice, a woman with whom Dante is deeply in love, replaces Vergil the poet as Dante the pilgrim's guide through heaven. She is meant to symbolize love, beauty, and spiritual perfection. Through...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2012 6:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

The term vernacular simply means the mother tongue of some country or region -- it is the language most spoken in that area. I assume that you are asking this in regard to the Divine Comedy because...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2010 11:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

In this canto, Virgil guides Dante through the part of hell reserved for the creators of discord or scandals as well as those who caused divisions in the church. These people are condemned to walk...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2017 11:30 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

The character of Beatrice is based on the daughter of a rich Florentine banker, Beatrice Portinari, whom Dante met and fell in love with at the age of nine. Beatrice first appears in the Vita...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2011 9:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

One would argue that Virgil is more of a hero in the earlier cantos, because he takes Dante by the hand, so to speak, and leads him on the first, faltering steps on his long, dangerous journey. As...

Latest answer posted August 18, 2018 6:06 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

Graft is also known as barratry, and may have an etymological connection to the more familiar word "grift" or grifting. Its exact definition is a bit murky and ambiguous, but it generally deals...

Latest answer posted July 19, 2015 4:39 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

Canto X takes place in circle 6 of Hell where, according to the principle of cotrappasso, the heretics are eternally tormented as they denied the eternity of the soul. The character who makes the...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2010 4:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

Let's start with your part two of your question first; that is, the inscription above the Gates of Hell. As Virgil and Dante approach the gate, they read its Latin inscription: Per me si va ne...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2014 4:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

As other answers here have noted, Dante's Divine Comedy seems to contain a catalog of themes, but as a quest story, its overarching one is the individual's journey to salvation. Salvation, in the...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2018 2:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

I sense that Dante shares a love with Beatrice by the end of the narrative as one that transcends that of mortal or courtly love. As she becomes his guide through the Paradiso phase of Dante's...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2011 9:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

At its most basic level, the language is straightforward: getting closer to God is good; it makes sense. There is order in God's world (as opposed to the world people live in who do not know God)....

Latest answer posted February 25, 2008 1:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

Gluttony is derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning "to gulp down or swallow." It is one of the Seven Deadly Sins in Judeo-Christian Theology. It is the over-consumption of food, drink, or...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2010 11:58 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

The Italian poet, Dante Alighieri (c. 1265–1321), wrote the epic narrative poem Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy) over a period from about 1308-1320. Divine Comedy is divided into three parts, and...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2020 4:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

When Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy in the early fourteenth century, Europe was going through a time of transition. The Renaissance was still in its infancy, and many medieval...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2021 5:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

I suggest that you do not try to write about the entire Divine Comedy but focus on a single episode or canto. The part that interests me the most personally is the episode involving Francesca da...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2013 6:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

I would add that the number 3 also structures Dante's Comedy and its symbolism is of crucial importance as it represents the Holy Trinity. The structure of the poem is based on the recurrence of...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2010 8:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Divine Comedy

When Dante's The Divine Comedy was written, there was significant tension between political rules and religious rulers in the political sphere in Florence and the whole of what would become Italy,...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2019 9:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

Virgil leads Dante to the Gates of Hell in Canto III of The Divine Comedy. Upon reaching the entrance to the underworld, Dante is initially confused by the words written across the Gates: Through...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2019 5:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

Although Dante's Comedy is now regarded as a timeless masterpiece, Neo-Classical critics of the eighteenth century largely dismissed it as a typical product of the culture of the Middle Ages....

Latest answer posted July 30, 2010 9:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

Dante's Divine Comedy enjoyed enormous success. However, it should be noted that it was not translated into other languages until much later. Thus, strictly speaking, its 14th century readers were...

Latest answer posted April 28, 2012 5:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

In The Divine Comedy, Dante portrays different cities in different ways, reflecting personal experiences with the places and his understanding of the morality and spirituality they embodied. In...

Latest answer posted October 3, 2020 4:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Divine Comedy

The term epic is overused, misunderstood, and has become a bit cliche. In literature, an epic is a long narrative poem that focuses on a hero and his (typically a he) culture. Characteristics of a...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2013 9:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer