What is Virgil's advice to Dante as spoken at the gate of hell?
As Dante and Virgil approach the gates of Hell, Dante starts getting more than a little scared, not least because the inscription above the gates says "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here." Thankfully, the wise pagan is on hand to guide Dante through this difficult phase of his journey. He smiles at Dante and offers him this sage advice:
Here you must renounce your slightest doubt and kill your every weakness. Leave behind all thoughts of safety first or be shut out. (canto 3)
That's easy for Virgil to say, we might think. He is, after all, a virtuous pagan, so Hell holds no fears for him. But Dante, as a Christian, can't afford to be complacent; he may not be dead, but he's still understandably worried about the ultimate fate of his soul. However, we shouldn't forget that Dante is in the early stages of his epic journey, so he still has much to learn about the meaning of sin.
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