Dante, Inferno lecture 1
- Dante was considered so important that it deserved a commentary.
- Before reading the poem, distinguish between Dante the Pilgrim (the one going through the
journey) and Dante the Poet (the author-telling his story). It’s important since this is a story
how Dante the Pilgrim became Dante the author.
- Dante the poet always presents this journey as real.
- The pilgrims view is confused but the poets view is comprehensive.
- In Aenied the transformation happens to a character, but in Dante, it is happening to HIMSELF,
he is trying to understand oneself and write ones story.
- Dante is reliving the experience while he wrote the poem. “I am going to overcome my fear”
- The poem exists with the story of the pilgrim and story of the narrator.
- An aspect of this poetic conversion has to do with how one has this experience on attaining a
new perspective on oneself.
- Dante founds himself in dark woods and he starts walking towards the sun but on the way up
the mountain he meets 3 obstacles. Leopard, the lion and the sheep. The sheep bothers him the
most which represents the desire for more.
- Dante will need a guide in this journey since to overcome the will cannot be done with just you.
You will need an outside force. It is not come great Christian thinker it is a pagan and it is Virgil.
When he introduces himself, he doesn’t say he is Virgil, he describes himself in elliptical ways.
- Dante is signaling his transformation in his poem.
- Aeneas says are you a mortal or are you a goddess and Dante says somet