Dante’s Divine Comedy : Concept of Good and Evil
May 31st, 2019.
In 1308, Italian poet and philosopher, Dante Alighieri began writing The Divine Comedy, a three volume great poem about the afterlife. Dante’s novel is based on a man, generally assumed to be Dante himself, who is miraculously enabled to undertake a journey into the afterlife, which leads him to visit the souls in Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. He has two guides: Virgil, who leads him through the Inferno and Purgatorio, and Beatrice, who introduces him to Paradiso. The Divine Comedy not only allowed Dante to create a story out of his pending exile but also to explain the means by which he came to cope with his personal tragedy and to offer suggestions for the resolution of Italy’s troubles as well. Through the analysis of Dante’s work: the Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, his concepts of good and evil will be explored.
Dante’s Inferno is his representation of hell and sources of evil. The concept of good and evil is a never ending idea that varies within all humans. In contrast from Paradiso, the Inferno represents evil in many ways. For example, as he is climbing up the mountain, he feels the warmth and light given off by the light at the top. The sheer distance Dante travels away from heaven symbolizes the distance he is away from god. According to Doctor Steve Taylor (Ph D.) at Psychology Today:
Good means a lack of self-centeredness. It means the ability to empathise with other people, to feel compassion for them, and to put their needs before your own. It means, if necessary, sacrificing your own well-being for the sake of others’. It means benevolence, altruism and selflessness, and self-sacrifice towards a greater cause - all qualities which stem from a sense of empathy. It means being able to see beyond the superficial difference of race, gender or...