This very Psalm, not coincidentally, is used to illustrate a way of interpreting the Divine Comedy in a letter believed to have been written either by Dante himself or by another learned person of his age: Now if we look at the letter alone, what is signified to us is the departure of the sons of Israel from Egypt during the time of Moses; if at the allegory, what is signified to us is our redemption through Christ; if at the moral sense, what is signified to us is the conversion of the soul from the sorrow and misery of sin to the state of grace; if at the anagogical, what is signified to us is the departure of the sanctified soul from bondage to the corruption of this world into the freedom of eternal glory. And although these mystical senses are called by various names, they may all be called allegorical, since they are all different from the literal or historical. University of Nebraska Press, ], 99 This interpretive method, known as the "four-fold method" or the "allegory of theologians," was commonly applied to the Bible in the Middle Ages.
Written by Dante Alighieri between andThe Divine Comedy is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature.
A brilliantly written allegory, filled with symbolism and pathos, it is certainly one of the classics of all time. The poem is written in the first person as Dante describes his imaginative journey through the three realms of the dead: Inferno hell ; Purgatorio Purgatory ; and Paradiso heaven.
The philosophy of the poem is a mixture of the Bible, Roman Catholicism, mythology, and medieval tradition. Where Dante draws on his knowledge of the Bible, the poem is truthful and insightful.
Where he draws on the other sources, the poem departs from truth. In fairness to Dante, however, it should be noted that his work is intended to be literary, not theological.
It does reflect a deep yearning to understand the mysteries of life and death and, as such, has generated tremendous interest over the centuries, remaining extremely popular even today. When comparing the poem to the Bible, many differences surface. Apparent immediately is the third of the work devoted to Purgatorya doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church having no foundation in the Bible.
These correspond to the seven deadly sins, with each terrace purging a particular sin until the sinner has corrected the nature within himself that caused him to commit that sin.
Aside from the fact that Purgatory is an unbiblical doctrine, the idea that sinners have another chance for salvation after death is in direct contradiction to the Bible. Judgment is based on our earthly lives, not on anything we do after we die.
There will be no second chance for salvation beyond this life. As long as a person is alive, he has a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. In the other two parts of The Divine Comedy, Dante imagines various levels of hell and heaven.
He describes the Inferno in great detail, vividly describing the torments and agonies of hell; these descriptions, however, do not come from the Bible. Some come from Islamic tradition.
Dante describes hell as comprised of nine concentric circles, representing an increase of wickedness, where sinners are punished in a fashion befitting their crimes.
The Bible does suggest different degrees of punishment in hell in Luke However, it says nothing of concentric circles or varying depths in hell. Different types of punishment. Lesser punishments involve having heads on backwards, chasing unreachable goals for eternity, and walking endlessly in circles.
Whatever punishment awaits the unrepentant sinner in hell, it is no doubt worse than even Dante could imagine. Here Dante is guided through nine spheres, again in a concentric pattern, each level coming closer to the presence of God.
Here are nine levels of people who have attained, by their own efforts, the sphere in which they now reside. The Bible, however, is clear that no amount of good works can earn heaven; only faith in the shed blood of Christ on the cross and the righteousness of Christ imputed to us can save us and destine us for heaven Matthew In addition, the idea that we must work our way through ascending realms of heaven to approach God is foreign to the Scriptures.
Even in the afterlife, Dante sees man as continually working and striving for reward and relief from punishment. But the Bible tells us that heaven is a place of rest from striving, not a continuation of it.
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. The Divine Comedy may be of interest to Christians as a literary work, but the Bible alone is our infallible guide for faith and life and is the only source of eternal truth.The Divine Comedy, Part 1: Hell (Penguin Classics) [Dante Alighieri, Dorothy L.
Sayers] on leslutinsduphoenix.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
The first volume of Dante's Divine Comedy Guided by the poet Virgil, Dante plunges to the very depths of Hell and embarks on his arduous journey towards God.
Together they descend through the nine circles of the underworld and encounter the tormented.
The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia [diˈviːna komˈmɛːdja]) is an Italian long narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. and completed in , a year before his death in It is widely considered to be the preeminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature.
The poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the. God and Satan in the Divine Comedy Essay. Dante’s Divine Comedy is the tale of one man’s spiritual journey in the quest for salvation.
He enters the Gates of Hell, descends to the bowls of the earth where he encounters Satan, and eventually is able to ascend through Purgatory. The works of Dante Alighieri – particularly the Divine Comedy, widely considered his masterpiece – have been a source of inspiration for various artists since their publications in the late 13th and early 14th leslutinsduphoenix.com notable examples are listed below.
The Divine Comedy: Purgatorio Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by . What is most remarkable about Dante's idea of allegory, and what sharply distinguishes the Divine Comedy from many other allegorical works, is the poet's emphasis (sincere or rhetorical as it may be) on the literal or historical truth of his narrative as a foundation for any other level of meaning.