The Complete Danteworlds: A Reader's Guide to the Divine by Guy P. Raffa

By Guy P. Raffa

Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy has, regardless of its huge, immense reputation and value, frequently stymied readers with its multitudinous characters, references, and topics. yet until eventually the book in 2007 of man Raffa’s advisor to the Inferno, scholars lacked an appropriate source to aid them navigate Dante’s underworld. With this new advisor to the total Divine Comedy, Raffa presents readers—experts within the heart a long time and Renaissance, Dante neophytes, and everybody in between—with a map of the full poem, from the bottom circle of Hell to the top sphere of Paradise.

Based on Raffa’s unique learn and his decades of educating the poem to undergraduates, The Complete Danteworlds charts a at the same time geographical and textual trip, canto through canto, quarter by means of quarter, adhering heavily to the trail taken by way of Dante himself via Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. This valuable reference additionally gains learn questions, illustrations of the nation-states, and local summaries. reading Dante’s poem and his assets, Raffa models targeted entries on every one personality encountered in addition to on many major ancient, non secular, and cultural allusions.

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Consistent with the biblical saying that avarice is “the root of all evils” (1 Timothy 6:10), medieval Christian thought viewed the sin as most offensive to the spirit of love; Dante goes even further by blaming avarice for the ethical and political corruption in his society. Ciacco identifies avarice, along with pride and envy, as one of the primary vices enflaming Florentine hearts (Inf. 74–75), and the poet consistently condemns greed and its effects throughout the Divine Comedy. Whereas his condemnation of lust and gluttony was tempered by sympathy for francesca (Circle 2) and ciacco (Circle 3), Dante shows no mercy in his treatment of avarice in the fourth circle of Hell.

A che r on :: This is the first of the rivers and marshes of Virgil’s underworld in the Aeneid that Dante includes in his topography of Hell. Whereas Virgil makes no clear distinction between these bodies of water (Charon seems to guard them all), the locations and functions of Dante’s infernal rivers are more specific. The Acheron serves as a boundary separating the peripheral zone of cowardly neutrals from the circles of Hell proper, and Charon ferries the souls destined for these lower areas across the river.

Dante’s Fortuna is also female, but he imagines her as an angelic intelligence (a “divine minister”) who guides the distribution of worldly goods, just as God’s light and goodness are distributed throughout the created universe. She is above the fray, immune to both praise and blame from those who experience the ups and downs that result from her actions. Much as Dante “demonizes” many mythological creatures from the classical underworld, he “deifies” the traditional representation of fortune. The ways of fortune, like the application of divine justice generally, are simply beyond the capacity of human understanding.

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