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Dantes Poem

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Influence of “The Aeneid” and “Confessions” in Dante's Poem
Dante in his poem “"The Inferno" talks of his journey to hell and back. He narrates it in the form of an autobiography. The poem does, however, indicate a strong influence from Maro's "The Aeneid" and Augustine's the "Confessions." The influence from the two in the “Inferno” range from the themes, concepts, literature devices and the language styles used.
Maro Virgil, the author of the poem “The Aeneid” was a controversial figure in most Christian texts at the time. His influence in the “Inferno” is clear because Dante uses the name for the leader in the poem. Virgil is an influence in the poem rather than just a fiction figure or character. Dante does not borrow directly from the Aeneid, but expresses his own ideas in different twist. A major difference in the texts is that while Dante uses the underworld to denote hell, Virgil extends the physical world, as we know it. Dante feels that the pagan Virgil is contradicting in his ways, and Dante’s hell is an extension of Virgil’s underworld. Virgil influenced the way Dante denotes hell in specific circles or steps. While Virgil had only three; Tartarus, Elysium and Lugentes Campi, Dante had nine; Limbo, Gluttony, Lust, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud and Treachery. Apparently, it is also clear that the concept of underworld is yet another influence Dante received from Maro’s “The Aeneid” (Maro 930-939).
Throughout the “Inferno”, Dante exhibits a sense of redemption and freedom. This theme and structure can be accredited to Augustine since repentance is the only way one attains direct communication with God as Dante came to find out. As the poem moves on, Dante becomes enlightened on the importance of repentance and that confession is one way of attaining freedom and salvation. This is another influence similar to the…...

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