An Interview with Dante on "The Inferno"
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This paper is composed of nine questions posed to Dante regarding his work, "The Inferno", and his answers to these questions. The interviewer in this paper questions Dante on whether reading only the "Inferno" and not the rest of the "Divine Comedy" is like going to Venice and spending all your time navigating the sewers, why Satan is found at the very bottom of the pit of Hell, whether Dante was at all surprised to find the Inferno modeled in such a way, why Pope Anastasius was in Hell, and why heretics are in the first circle, among other questions.
From the Paper:"Question 1: Dante, Dorothy Sayers once remarked that reading only the Inferno and not the rest of the Divine Comedy is like going to Venice and spending all your time navigating the sewers. What is your take on that?
"Dante: Well, certainly Dorothy is correct: I did not envision the Inferno to be a work in and of itself--but as part of a greater whole. John Ciardi puts it nicely: I wanted to make a map of both the physical universe (according to Ptolemy) and a structure of values. Moral and physical law are intertwined--that is seen very clearly in Hell. In Ptolemy's model, God is the circumference of the universe and the center is the furthest you can get from God, Earth being at the center, and Hell being in the center of the Earth.
"Question 2: Fascinating. Is that why you find Satan at the very bottom of the pit of Hell?
"Dante: Yes--and you'll notice it is very cold there--and mechanistic. Very inhuman.
"Question 3: Were you at all surprised to find the Inferno modeled in such a way?
"Dante: Not at all--for as I said, the moral law and the natural law work together. The ancient Greeks, such as Plato, were of the same opinion--as well as the Romans who followed them. There is Virgil, of course, my guide, whose Aeneid tells of the mighty Trojan who founded Rome. You could say the Commedia is my ode to Virgil."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Dante. The Inferno. Trans. John Ciardi. New York, NY: New American Library, 2003. Print.
Cite this Creative Essay:
An Interview with Dante on "The Inferno" (2013, May 21) Retrieved July 12, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/creative-essay/an-interview-with-dante-on-the-inferno-153321/
"An Interview with Dante on "The Inferno"" 21 May 2013. Web. 12 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/creative-essay/an-interview-with-dante-on-the-inferno-153321/>