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This paper will trace the instances in Dante's Inferno in which Virgil becomes impatient or so to say even offended with Dante. This paper will elaborate certain examples from the text and examine errors of judgments committed by Dante. On the other hand, it will also cover and discuss Virgil's responses to these errors…
.." subordinator, and ending with main clauses that open with "so..." Rendered by a single translator, these similes tie together disparate styles encountered between analogies; codified by a recurring language of analogy, they give us a dark comfort just as Homer's tropes of analogy--"Wine dark sea," "Rose fingered dawn"--comfort us.
If we can safely assume that what we have accomplished sounds better than prose, can we also believe that we have dislodged Dante's sense little enough to justify the effort It all comes down to no more and no less than that. It seems fair to conclude with a test case. Here is the lovely simile, a mixture of Virgilian pastoral and everyday Tuscan agricultural elements that opens Inferno 24, first in John Sinclair's prose, and then in our free verse. The situation is this: Virgil has been irritated by the mocking of his intelligence by the shade of a Jovial Friar from Bologna, since he had been tricked by a devil and almost gotten Dante killed in an ambush:
Dante's style changes with different speakers and settings, and the translator must adjust his style to suit that variety. Francesca's mode in telling of the love that brought her to hell, is very different from the tone Ulysses uses in recalling how he inspired his men to follow him to the ends of the earth. ...
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