Understanding Divine Comedy by Dante
Synopsis of the Divine Comedy
In a nutshell, Dante narrates the poem through an alter ego referred to as the Pilgrim. The Pilgrim passes away from this world, moves on to the next one, and then passes 3 different sites of the world hereafter; heaven, hell & purgatory.
Through Purgatory and Hell, the Pilgrim is guided by Virgil – the Roman poet. And through Heaven, the Pilgrim is guided by Beatrice – the woman that Dante became infatuated with during their young days & admired from there on.
The Pilgrim makes 9 circles of each site and thus completes the journey through the various stages the Christian faith edicts each soul must pass through.
Why did Dante Write His Divine Comedy?
When I hear questions and queries about pieces of work from the medieval days, my ears are bound to be hit by sounds waves resonating interrogations the like of why did Dante write his Divine Comedy, why did Dante write his Canterbury Tales and why did Dante write his Paradise Lost. These questions are so frequent that you expect them almost every single time someone enquires about medieval literature. However, to and for my own self, the words that stand out from among all those questions are two words; Divine & Comedy. Why? Let me elaborate upon it and also the facts about the Divine Comedy in the lines that follow.
First things first; why I am amused upon hearing Divine and Comedy. Well, the answer to that is real simple – the world we live in today is so confused and bewildered by all the various “faiths”, “religions” and “beliefs” that claim to be the right & true ones that it really is comical. Think about it; if everyone is right, then who is wrong? And if all say the other is wrong then who is right?
It all becomes so chaotic that a Simple Simon like me, much to the opposite effect that Dante would have wanted, would be more than content with believing in what my heart tells me to do or follow. Anyhow, let us get back on track and shift our focus on why did Dante write his Divine Comedy.
The prerogative that Dante wanted through Divine Comedy was to convey to others about the after-life. He wanted the reader of Divine Comedy to really ponder & contemplate upon things like,
- “What will happen in the life mentioned in the scriptures after we pass into the after world?”
- “What kind of lives must we live in this mortal world to gain the favor of the Lord in the life hereafter?”
- “What sort of experience would it be if we get condemned and are tossed into the deepest pits of the hell fire?”
- “What do our actions mean in this life?”
- “How are our actions in this world translated into deeds into the life hereafter?” etc.
These contemplative statements really do answer interrogations such as why did Dante write his Divine Comedy and queries the likes of why did Dante create his Divine Comedy.
Significance of The Divine Comedy
The significance of the Divine Comedy did not become apparent immediately upon its publication. However, nobody could have guessed that later on it would inspire many musicians to produce compositions & songs based on it, stimulate the work of many sculptures and also stir numerous actors to gather motivation from the literary piece of work.
Forget all these, think video games; do you think Divine Comedy could inspire video games? Well do not be surprised; because it has! Lastly, buy definitely not the least, the Divine Comedy moves the reader to start making sense of the complex world that we live in and how our actions will only either make or break our life in the world hereafter; either you succeed & granted entry into heaven or you fail & are forced to spend the days of your afterlife in the eternal hellfire.