Inferno: a Reflection of Dante's Beliefs

1353 Words6 Pages
Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy is an epic poem that was composed during 14th century Italy. Originally only known as La Commedia, this exemplary work became revolutionary during its time, as it was both controversial and allegorical. The first canto serves as an introduction, while the remaining ninety-nine cantos are equally divided among three distinctive segments known as Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The first part, Inferno, provides the readers with insights regarding the mindset of medieval writers and their beliefs, as it explores the aspects of religion and politics in Florence. As a historian, it is useful to examine such facets because they help with the understanding of the lifestyle and ideologies of these people. Throughout his life, Dante has lived in a society that was conflicted between the rules of the Guelfs and the Ghibellines, two major political parties in Florence. Therefore, his great epic reflects the hardships and turmoil that Dante witnessed and experienced during his life. Consequently, Inferno glorifies Christianity and maintains that it is the source of the ultimate salvation and comments on the complexity and corruption within Florentine politics. Furthermore, The Divine Comedy was written when Dante was in exile, thus it harbours some of Dante’s bitter attitudes towards certain individuals, who he certainly does not fail to include in the poem. In the 2010 translation of the poem, Burton Raffel, the translator, explains that he considers The Divine Comedy as a masterpiece in literature and he tried to translate the text as closely as possible to the original text in order for the readers to understand what Dante was really trying to convey them. Moreover, Paul J. Contino, who provided an introduction for the document, states that Dante intended for his readers to join him in his adventure because he believed that all human
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