Divine comedy summary

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  • Publicado : 13 de marzo de 2012
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CANTO I

In the middle of the journey of his life, Dante finds himself lost in a dark wood, and he cannot find the straight path. He cannot remember how he wandered away from his true path that he should be following, but he is in a fearful place, impenetrable and wild.

He looks up from this dismal valley and sees the sun shining on the hilltop. After resting for a moment, he begins to climbthe hill towards the light, but he is suddenly confronted by a leopard, which blocks his way and he turns to evade it. Then a hungry lion appears more fearful than the leopard, but a "she-wolf" comes forward and drives Dante back down into the darkness of the valley.

Just as Dante begins to feel hopeless in his plight, a figure approaches him. It has difficulty speaking, as though it had notspoken for a long time. At first Dante is afraid, but then implores it for help, whether it be man or spirit. It answered: "not a man now, but once I was." It is the shade of Virgil, who wrote the Aeneid, and lived in the times of the "lying and false gods."

Dante hails Virgil as his master and the inspiration for all poets. When Virgil hears how Dante was driven back by the "she-wolf," he tellsDante that he must go another way because the she-wolf snares and kills all things. However, Virgil prophesies that someday, a marvelous greyhound, whose food is wisdom, love, and courage, will come from the nation between "Feltro and Feltro," and save Italy, chasing the she-wolf back to Hell.

Virgil commands Dante to follow him and see the horrible sights of the damned in Hell, the hope ofthose doing penance in Purgatory, and if he so desires, the realm of the blessed in Paradise. Another guide will take him to this last realm, which Dante cannot (or may not) enter. Dante readily agrees, and the two poets begin their long journey.


CANTO II

It is now the evening of Good Friday, as the two poets approach the entrance to Hell. But Dante wonders if he is truly worthy to make thejourney: He recalls that Aeneas, and also St. Paul, made the journey, and he feels unworthy to be included in this noble group: "I am not Aeneas, nor am I Paul," and Dante is apprehensive.

Virgil reproves Dante for being afraid and assures him that there is great concern for him among angelic spirits, mainly Beatrice, Dante's beloved, who is now in Heaven. Virgil relates how the Virgin Mary'smessenger, St. Lucia, sent Beatrice to instruct Virgil to help Dante rediscover the "Right Path" from the Dark Woods. Virgil says that Beatrice wept as she pleaded, and Virgil eagerly obeyed her instructions and rescued Dante, so they are ready to begin their journey.
Virgil tells Dante to have courage always because the three ladies of Heaven — Virgin Mary, St. Lucia, and Beatrice — all care forhim. Dante is reassured and tells Virgil to lead on and he will follow.

CANTO III

It is now the evening of Good Friday, as the two poets approach the entrance to Hell. But Dante wonders if he is truly worthy to make the journey: He recalls that Aeneas, and also St. Paul, made the journey, and he feels unworthy to be included in this noble group: "I am not Aeneas, nor am I Paul," and Dante isapprehensive.

Virgil reproves Dante for being afraid and assures him that there is great concern for him among angelic spirits, mainly Beatrice, Dante's beloved, who is now in Heaven. Virgil relates how the Virgin Mary's messenger, St. Lucia, sent Beatrice to instruct Virgil to help Dante rediscover the "Right Path" from the Dark Woods. Virgil says that Beatrice wept as she pleaded, and Virgileagerly obeyed her instructions and rescued Dante, so they are ready to begin their journey.
Virgil tells Dante to have courage always because the three ladies of Heaven — Virgin Mary, St. Lucia, and Beatrice — all care for him. Dante is reassured and tells Virgil to lead on and he will follow.


CANTO IV

Dante wakes to a clap of thunder. He has been in a deep sleep for some time, so his...
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