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The purpose of Dante's journey - Research Paper Example

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The purpose of Dante's journey

As such, the story is heavily influenced by the Catholic teachings during his time (the Medieval period) as shown by belief in these three states as well as an earth-centric view of the universe (before a more correct one was discovered by Copernicus and proved by Galileo which is helio-centric, for which he was forced to recant under pain of death during the period of the Inquisition) as evidenced by the story's placement of Hell at the center of concentric circles that was more or less consistent with the Ptolemic conception of the universe at that time. The story of his journey is an allegory that tells of his resentments at being forced to live outside his country (exiled) due to numerous political enemies who betrayed him. But the story of “Divine Comedy” has many other allusions to more crucial or important things in life that really matter the most such as loyalty and trust. Further evidence of the other aspects is a reference to the people who cannot decide their minds and practice fence-sitting to wait and see who wins in a political struggle before they will make their own stand known. In a sense, Dante's work is a stinging indictment of the people he had met during his lifetime but offers a redemption for some although a more potent message in this story presented as a collection of poems or songs is that punishment must fit the gravity of the crime committed. Discussion Dolce Stil Novo means the “sweet new style” in Italian and believed to be first used by Dante himself in a section on Purgatorio. The term actually referred to a new style of writing which was focused more on a theme of love than on any other topic. The new style of Dolce Stil Novo was a literary movement credited with improving the poetry of the time, such as the better quality of intellectual discussions, most especially when it pertains or refers to a female body in an adoring or idolizing manner. But perhaps more importantly, this style of writing conceived the ideals or features of feminine beauty in terms of being similar to the creatures coming from Paradise. This idealistic form of feminine beauty is compared not to a physical type of beauty but rather in more spiritual terms. As Dante was a foremost exponent of this new writing style, his portrayal of Beatrice (his platonic love) is an example of the kind of love that is angelic and hence the woman served as a bridge to God for divine love. It is no wonder that Beatrice was the one who guided Dante towards Heaven. La Vita Nuova literally means the new life and this pertains to a Medieval genre of the courtly love (a noble expression of love that was at times illicit among members of a nobility) in which the male lover shows his love through his acts chivalry. These acts may constitute of anything that was considered honorable, brave and noble at that time. Courtly love is a special kind of love that is based partly on sexual attraction and spiritual discipline as it is mostly sort of an unrequited or unfulfilled love (such as that of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet). It can be best described as an odd mixture of bravery, humility and courtesy with a good sprinkling of adulterous love as well that was a part of the prevailing culture of the nobility. Dante used this style of writing because he himself was a victim of an unrequited love during his childhood as well as into his adulthood. Courtly love as expressed through acts of chivalry is now largely a lost trait among the modern males; today, ...Show more


Student's Name: Professor's Name: The Purpose of Dante's Journey (word count = 2,230) 29 July 2011 Introduction This paper examines the work of one of the greatest Italian writers ever who wrote the literary classic, the “Divine Comedy” which tells the journey of the author, Dante Alighieri…
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