The Divine Comedy Questions and Answers
by Dante Alighieri

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Who do you feel is more of a hero, Dante or Virgil (from the first 33 cantos) of the Divine Comedy of Dante?

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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 we're still in the earliest stages of that journey in the first 33 cantos, Dante hasn't had much of a chance to show any of the characteristics one normally associates with a hero. There's still much that Dante has to learn as he proceeds on his epic journey, and so he lacks the requisite wisdom that Virgil possesses (and which Virgil does not hesitate to impart).

Virgil symbolizes the rediscovered wisdom of antiquity that so animated the spirit of Renaissance humanism. In addition, he was highly esteemed throughout Christendom as a virtuous pagan. He...

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