Dante And Homer Essay Research Paper Dante

Dante And Homer Essay, Research Paper

Dante makes many references to Homer and the Iliad throughout the Inferno. The

fates of favorite characters are described during the course of Dante?s

travels. Beginning with his vision of Homer in Limbo, continuing through

increasingly gory levels of Hell until Dante reaches the eighth bolgia where he

meets Ulysses who is engulfed in fire. Dante?s infatuation with the Iliad is

clearly illustrated in his Divine Comedy. Dante introduces Homer early in the

Inferno. After the writer passes the gates of Hell and safely crosses the

Acheron he is in the most comfortable section of Hell. Homer, along with other

virtuous pagans(those who were not enlightened by Christ?s appearance on

earth) and unbaptised children are there. Homer is spending eternity with

philosophers, poets, and writers. The first circle has light and a sense of

comfort, two things it doesn?t share with any other level of Hell. The only

torture Homer has to endure is the lack of hope for salvation. Dante?s next

stop (after his confrontation with Minos) is the second circle where the carnal

are relegated. In this circle he meets three main players in Homer?s Iliad,

Paris, Achilles, and Helen. All of the inhabitants of this circle are swept up

like leaves in a storm, denied the light and reason of God they are eternally

dammed to ride the hurricane like winds around the second circle. Much later in

his journey Dante meets the man who conceived the Trojan Horse. Ulysses is in

the eighth bolgia among his fellow evil counselors. He is is entrapped in a

tongue of flame with his partner in crime, Diomede. The flame comes from one

source but is spilt in two, the split symbolizes the falling-out that must come

in a partnership based in evil. Ulysses is placed in this circle for many

reasons. During the Trojan war he gave birth to the deadly idea that the Achains

build infamous Trojan Horse. He also caused the death of Deidamia, Achilles

lover when he talked Achilles into leaving her to go to Troy. A third reason for

Ulysses banishment deep in Hell is his theft of the statue of Pallas from the

Palladium. Dante?s Inferno encompasses a broad range of literary and political

subjects. The references to the Iliad are a small fraction of the composition,

but they give the reader a solid base of well known characters so they can

better understand the how and why behind Dante?s placement of the

personalities in the various levels of Hell.


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