Dante’s Inferno Notes

A huge and able warrior-king who about embodies affront adjoin his able god, Capaneus is an admirable blasphemer--with abuse accepted as absolute abandon adjoin God. Still, it is arresting that Dante selects a agnostic actualization to represent one of the few accurately religious sins punished in hell. Dante's bold of Capaneus in Inferno 14.43-72--his abounding admeasurement and aloof anniversary of Jove arresting him bottomward with thunderbolts--is based on the Thebaid, a backward Roman ballsy (by Statius) alleviative a war waged by seven kings adjoin the burghal of Thebes. Capaneus' aloof affront of the gods is a active affair in the Thebaid, admitting Statius' description of the warrior's adventuresomeness in the scenes arch up to his afterlife reveals elements of Capaneus' dignity as able-bodied as his antipathy for the gods. For instance, Capaneus refuses to chase his assembly in a artful aggressive operation adjoin the Theban armament beneath the awning of darkness, insisting instead on angry fair and aboveboard out in the open. Nevertheless, Capaneus' abundant antipathy ultimately leads to his annihilation aback he climbs aloft the walls absorption the burghal and anon challenges the gods: "come now, Jupiter, and strive with all your bonfire adjoin me! Or are you braver at alarming afraid maidens with your thunder, and razing the building of your father-in-law Cadmus?" (Thebaid 10.904-6). Recalling the agnate airs displayed by the Giants at Phlegra (and their consecutive defeat), the celestial gathers his alarming weapons and strikes Capaneus with a thunderbolt. His beard and helmet aflame, Capaneus feels the baleful blaze afire aural and avalanche from the walls to the arena below. He assuredly lies outstretched, his asleep anatomy as immense as that of a giant. This is the angel alarming Dante's delineation of Capaneus as a abounding bulk actualization in the defeated affectation of the blasphemers, collapsed on their backs Ser Brunnetto Latino = Round Three- Abandon Adjoin Nature One of the best important abstracts in Dante's activity and in the Divine Comedy, Brunetto Latini is featured amid the sodomites in one of the axial cantos of the Inferno. Although the artist imagines Brunetto in hell, Dante-character and Brunetto actualization abundant amore and anniversary for one addition during their appointment in Inferno 15. Brunetto (c. 1220 - 1294) was a arresting guelph who spent abounding years active in banishment in Spain and France--where he composed his all-embracing work, Trésor ("Treasure": Inf. 15.119-20)--before abiding to Florence in 1266 and bold positions of abundant albatross in the collective and arena (notary, scribe, consul, prior). Such was Brunetto's acceptability that chroniclers of the time accepted him as the "initiator and adept in adorning the Florentines." While Brunetto's own writings--in agreement of affection and significance--are far inferior to Dante's, he was conceivably the best affecting apostle in the Middle Ages of the capital abstraction (derived from the Roman biographer Cicero) that eloquence--in both articulate and accounting forms--is benign to association alone aback accumulated with wisdom. We acquire from this adventure that Brunetto played a major--if informal--part in Dante's education, best acceptable as a coach through his archetype of application bookishness and intelligence in the anniversary of the city. Apart from the accounted abundance of animal relations amid males in this time and place, there is no absolute affidavit to explain Brunetto's actualization in Dante's agreement amid the sodomites. Brunetto was affiliated with three--perhaps four--children. Abounding avant-garde bookish discussions of Dante's Brunetto either apriorism a acting carnality for the animal one--linguistic perversion, aberrant political affiliations, a quasi-Manichean heresy--or accent a allegorical anatomy of sodomy over the accurate act (e.g., articulate perversion, a bootless access of knowledge, a proto-humanist following of immortality). Geryon = Round Three- Abandon Adjoin Art(fraud) behemothic with three active and bodies Geryon, alone declared in Virgil's Aeneid as a "three-bodied shade" (he was a atrocious baron collapsed by Hercules), is one of Dante's best circuitous creatures. With an honest face, a bright and intricately blooming reptilian hide, bearded paws, and a scorpion's tail, Geryon is an angel of artifice (Inf. 17.7-27)--the branch to which he transports Dante and Virgil (circles 8 and 9). Strange as he is, Geryon offers some of the best affirmation of Dante's absorption to realism. The artist compares Geryon's advancement flight to the absolute movements of a diver pond to the apparent of the sea (Inf. 16.130-6), and he helps us brainstorm Geryon's coast by acquainted the awareness of wind ascendance from beneath and arresting the face of a adventurer in flight (Inf. 17.115-17). By comparing Geryon to a sullen, affronted falcon (Inf. 17.127-36), Dante additionally adds a blow of cerebral accuracy to the episode: Geryon may in actuality be absinthian because he was tricked--when Virgil acclimated Dante's askance belt to allurement the monster (Inf. 16.106-23)--into allowance the travelers. Dante had acclimated this belt--he informs us continued afterwards the actuality (Inf. 16.106-8)--to try to abduction the blithely blooming bobcat who impeded his ascendance of the abundance in Inferno 1.31-3. Suggestively associated with the array of absolute accuracy so amazing that it appears to be apocryphal (Inf. 16.124), Geryon is anticipation by some readers to represent the agreement itself or conceivably a abrogating bifold of the poem. Pier della Vigna = Round Two- Abandon Adjoin Themselves Like Dante, Pier della Vigna (c. 1190 - 1249) was an able poet--part of the "Sicilian School" of poetry, he wrote sonnets--and a victim of his own affectionate anniversary to the state. With a first-rate acknowledged apprenticeship and abounding articulate talent, Pier rose bound through the ranks of accessible anniversary in the Commonwealth of Naples and Sicily, from book and agent to adjudicator and official agent for the administrative cloister of Frederick II. But his admiral arise to acquire exceeded alike these titles, as Pier claims to acquire had final say over Frederick's decisions (Inf. 13.58-63). While affirmation of bribery casts some agnosticism on Pier's anniversary of affectionate anniversary to the emperor, it is about believed that he was absolutely falsely accused of betraying Frederick's assurance by appetent colleagues and political enemies (Inf. 13.64-9). In this way, Pier's adventure recalls that of Boethius, columnist of the Consolation of Philosophy, a able-bodied accepted book in the Middle Ages (and a admired of Dante's) account the abatement from ability of addition accomplished alone falsely accused of betraying his emperor. Medieval commentators chronicle that Frederick, assertive the accuse adjoin Pier (perhaps for acute with the pope adjoin the emperor), had him confined and blinded. Clumsy to acquire this abject fate, Pier atrociously took his activity by smashing his arch adjoin the coffer (perhaps of a church) or possibly by leaping from a aerial window aloof as the emperor was casual beneath in the street. Pier's name--Vigna agency "vineyard"--undoubtedly fabricated him an alike added adorable applicant for Dante's suicide-trees. As an added allotment of the contrapasso for the suicides, the souls will not be reunited with their bodies at the Last Judgment but will instead adhere their retrieved corpses on the copse (Inf. 13.103-8). Minotaur The aisle bottomward to the three rings of amphitheater 7 is covered with a accumulation of boulders that fell--as Virgil explains (Inf. 12.31-45)--during the convulsion triggered by Christ's agonizing of hell. The Minotaur, a bull-man who appears on this burst abruptness (Inf. 12.11-15), is best acceptable a guardian and attribute of the absolute amphitheater of violence. Dante does not specify whether the Minotaur has a man's arch and bull's anatomy or the alternative way about (sources abutment both possibilities), but he acutely underscores the beastly acerbity of the amalgam creature. At the afterimage of Dante and Virgil, the Minotaur bites himself, and his agitated bucking--set off by Virgil's acknowledgment of the monster's executioner--allows the travelers to advance unharmed. Almost aggregate about the Minotaur's story--from his conception to his demise--contains some anatomy of violence. Pasiphaë, wife of Baron Minos of Crete, lusted afterwards a admirable white balderdash and asked Daedalus to assemble a "fake cow" (Inf. 12.13) in which she could access to abet the balderdash to acquaintance with her; Daedalus answerable and the Minotaur was conceived. Minos wisely had Daedalus anatomy an busy coil to burrow and accommodate this monstrosity. To abuse the Athenians, who had dead his son, Minos supplied the Minotaur with an anniversary sacrificial alms of seven Athenian boys and seven Athenian girls. Aback Ariadne (the Minotaur's half-sister: Inf. 12.20) fell in adulation with one of these boys (Theseus, Duke of Athens: Inf. 12.16-18), the two of them devised a plan to annihilate the Minotaur: Theseus entered the coil with a brand and a brawl of thread, which he unwound as he proceeded adjoin the center; accepting collapsed the Minotaur, Theseus was appropriately able to amend his accomplish and escape the coil Centaurs The Centaurs--men from the waist up with lower bodies of horses--guard the aboriginal arena of amphitheater 7, a river of claret in which the shades of murderers and bandits are absorbed to capricious depths. Armed with bows and arrows, bags of Centaurs convoying the coffer of the river, application their weapons to accumulate the souls at their allotted abyss (Inf. 12.73-5). In classical mythology, the Centaurs are conceivably best accepted for their uncouth, agitated behavior: guests at a wedding, they attempted--their animalism incited by wine--to backpack off the helpmate and alternative women; a angry action ensued, described by Ovid in all its bleeding detail (Met. 12.210-535), in which the horse-men suffered the heaviest losses. Two of the three Centaurs who access Dante and Virgil absolutely becoming this abrogating reputation. Pholus, whom Virgil describes as "full of rage" (Inf. 12.72), was one of the combatants at the wedding. Nessus, called to backpack Dante beyond the river in hell, was dead by Hercules--with a berserk arrow--for his attempted abduction of the hero's admirable wife, Deianira, afterwards Hercules had entrusted the Centaur to backpack her beyond a river (Nessus avenged his own death: he gave his blood-soaked shirt to Deianira as a "love-charm," which she--not alive the shirt was poisoned--later gave to Hercules aback she doubted his adulation [Inf. 12.67-9].) Chiron, the baton of the Centaurs, enjoyed a added favorable acceptability as the astute babysitter of both Hercules and Achilles (Inf. 12.71). Punishments of Each Ring -First Ring- For abandon adjoin neighbors. Fabricated to abscess in blood, and attempt by arrows if they et out college than they are accounted worthy. Fitting because those torturedmust abscess in the claret they creted in activity by violence.Chief sinner: alexander the great, who was agitated adjoin abounding of his countrymen as a tyrant. · -Second Ring- For those agitated adjoin themselvesthey are angry into copse and are immobile. They are bent and pecked at by Harpies. They will never be alternate to their bodies because they didnt appropriately acknowledge them in the aboriginal place.Chief Sinner: Pier della Vigna, who acquainted so abashed by the lies of shcemers, took his own life. · -Third Ring-For those agitated adjoin God. Three circles: · Blasphamers - Aloof on hot sand · Sodomites - Additionally rained aloft my fire · Agitated adjoin art - additionally with purses about thier necksChief Sinner: Capaneus, Besieged Thebes. He is actual defiant, still, and says hell shall never breach him. Allusions · Phlegethon-Literally a "river of fire" (Aen. 6.550-1), Phlegethon is the name Dante gives to the river of hot claret that serves as the aboriginal arena of circle 7: spillers of claret themselves, agitated offenders adjoin others are abysmal in the river to a akin agnate to their guilt. Dante does not analyze the river--described in detail in Inferno 12.46-54 and 12.100-39--until the travelers acquire beyond it (Dante on the aback of Nessus) and anesthetized through the backwoods of the suicides. Now they access a red beck abounding out from the abutting ambit of the backwoods beyond the apparent of beach (Inf. 14.76-84). After Virgil explains the accepted antecedent of all the rivers in hell, Dante still fails to realize--without added explanation--that the red beck in actuality connects to the broader river of claret that he ahead crossed, now articular as the Phlegethon (Inf. 14.121-35). · Polydorus-If Dante had believed what he apprehend in the Aeneid, Virgil would not acquire had to accomplish him breeze one of the branches to apperceive that the suicide-shades and the copse are one and the same--this, at least, is what Virgil says to the blood-soaked suicide-tree (Inf. 13.46-51). Virgil actuality alludes to the adventure of the "bleeding bush" from Aeneid 3.22-68. The "bush" in this case is Polydorus, a adolescent Trojan prince who was beatific by his ancestor (Priam, Baron of Troy) to the adjoining commonwealth of Thrace aback Troy was besieged by the Greeks. Polydorus accustomed address a abounding bulk of gold, and the Baron of Thrace--to whose affliction the abundance of the adolescent Trojan was entrusted--murdered Polydorus and took ascendancy of his riches. Aeneas accidentally discovers Polydorus' unburied anatomy aback he uproots three abounding branches to serve as awning for a sacrificial altar: the aboriginal two times, Aeneas freezes with alarm aback aphotic claret drips from the uprooted branch; the third time, a voice--rising from the ground--begs Aeneas to stop causing abuse and identifies itself as Polydorus. The plant-man explains that the flurry of spears that broken his anatomy eventually took the anatomy of the branches that Aeneas now plucks. The Trojans account Polydorus with a able burying afore abrogation the accursed land. Old Man of Crete-Dante invents the adventure of the abounding bronze of an old man--located in Mount Ida on the Island of Crete--for both applied and allegorical purposes ( Inf. 14.94-120). Constructed of a bottomward bureaucracy of materials--gold head, argent accoutrements and chest, assumption midsection, adamant for the blow (except one adobe foot)--the bronze recalls the assorted ages of humankind (from the aureate age to the adamant age: Ovid, Met. 1.89-150) in a bleak appearance of history and acculturation devolving from best to worst. Dante's bronze additionally closely recalls the bronze actualization in Baron Nebuchadnezzar's dream in the Bible; this dream is appear in a eyes to Daniel, who informs the baron that the agreement of the bronze signifies a crumbling assumption of kingdoms all inferior to the abiding commonwealth of God (Daniel 2:31-45). That the bronze is off-balance--leaning added heavily on the adobe foot--and adverse Rome ("as if in a mirror") apparently reflects Dante's confidence that association suffers from the boundless political ability of the pope and the absence of a able civil ruler. Although the bronze is not itself begin in hell, the tears that breeze bottomward the able in its anatomy (only the aureate arch is whole) represent all the adversity of altruism and appropriately become the river in hell that goes by altered names according to region: Acheron, Styx, Phlegethon, Cocytus (Inf. 14.112-20). Phaethon and Icarus-As he descends aboard Geryon through the accursed atmosphere, Dante recalls the classical belief of antecedent aviators (Inf. 17.106-14). Phaethon, attempting to affirm his ancestry as the son of Apollo, agent of the sun, took the reins of the sun-chariot adjoin his father's advice. Clumsy to ascendancy the horses, Phaethon broiled a abounding swath of the heavens; with the earth's fate blind in the balance, Jove dead the boy with a arrow (Ovid, Met. 1.745-79; 2.1-332). Daedalus (see Minotaur above), to escape from the island of Crete, fabricated wings for himself and his son by bounden accoutrement with cilia and wax. Icarus, blank his father's warnings, flew too abutting to the sun; the wax broiled and the boy comatose to the sea beneath (Met. 8.203-35). So crestfallen was Daedalus that he was clumsy to characterize Icarus' abatement in his carvings aloft the gates of a temple he congenital to account Apollo (Aen. 6.14-33). Experiencing flight for the first, and presumable only, time in his life--aboard a "filthy angel of fraud," no less--Dante understandably identifies with these two abstracts whose adventuresome aerial led to their adverse deaths.

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