DIVINE COMEDY

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DIVINE COMEDY

TITLE
The title itself is very simple yet prolific and profound.

CHARACTERS
Dante is both the narrator and main character of the epic poem. The characters are somehow connected in the author’s life story. Dante is his real name, Virgil as his major influence in writing the masterpiece and Beatrice as his inspiration for it was the name of his daughter, Antonia. To add, some of the characters are fictitious and some are real. This tells how knowledgeable and encompassing he is in representing them which fall into several categories as saints and sinners.

PLOT
Dante Pilgrim has not been a good boy. His dead love Beatrice asks the Virgin Mary to help him see the error of his ways. Mary accepts and Dante is sent on a three-day trip through Hell, and on up Mount Purgatory on the other side of the world, and finally to Heaven in the sky. He is spiritually lost at the beginning of the story, so he needs guides to help him along the path. His first guide, through Hell and Purgatory is Virgil (author of The Aeneid). They encounter many interesting sinners on the way. Dante learns to hate sin. His second guide is Beatrice, the woman he adored while she lived. His final guide is Saint Bernard (namesake of the loyal dog), who takes him to see God. Moreso, it is amazingly allegorical, highly symbolic and very complex. THE STORY WILL KEEP ONE UP TO THE LAST MINUTE AND LAST PAGE OF PAPER BECAUSE IT IS ENGROSSING, SUBSTANTIAL AND INFORMATIVE.

THEME
The theme of the epic poem is about one man’s journey through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. Its theme talked about the spiritual dimension of life.

POINT OF VIEW
He used the first person point of view because he himself is also the narrator.

LITERARY DEVICE/STYLE The Divine Comedy is composed of over 14,000 lines that are divided into three canticas (Ital. pl. cantiche) — Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) — each consisting of 33 cantos. An initial canto serves as an introduction to the poem and is generally considered to be part of the first cantica, bringing the total number of cantos to 100. The number 3 is prominent in the work, represented here by the length of each cantica. The verse scheme used, terza rima, is hendecasyllabic (lines of eleven syllables), with the lines composing tercets according to the rhyme scheme aba, bcb, cdc, ded. THE LITERARY DEVICE HE USED MIRRORS HOW ARTICULATE, ELOQUENT AND GENUIS HE IS IN WORLD OF LITERARY WORKS. This really tells that Dante is a genius that there is reason and scheme for every line and number he represented in his work.

MOOD
The mood of the story is very serious because it talked about punishment in hell which is gruesome, fearsome, heart-pounding and horrible.

TONE
The tone is both persuasive and instructive because it teaches lessons derived from Bible beyond one’s imagination as well as suggestive because it encourages people to be good and to do good while living on earth.

ANALYSIS USING DIFFERENT LITERARY APPROACHES

HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL APPROACH
He was born into one of the most chaotic periods of Western European history. There was conflict between Church and State which shaped Dante’s socio- political awareness, most of all, religious aspect in the story. Truly, it survives the test of time and will be immortalized for this kind of work is anything but close-to perfect if not perfect.

MYTH/SYMBOLIC/ARCHETYPAL APPROACH
He utilized several archetypes in the journey comprehensively. He drew many characters from Greek and Roman mythology as well as from his own times. The sphere of air, fire, the angels, fixed stars, serpent, eagle vixen, dragon, harlot, leopard, lion, she-wolf, charon, minotaur, Cerberus, etc. tackled that it is highly symbolic. Moreover, the date, Good Friday versus Eastern Sunday and the 3-day trip symbolized the meaning of the journey.

PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH
He represented the characters very real, symbolic yet complex. This tells that we are all pilgrims in our own little way depending on our situation we are into. The characters taught us explicitly that humans should have the proper functioning of id, ego and super ego to avoid damnation in hell, immersion in purgatory and to reach the ultimate destination which is heaven.

MORAL/PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH
Obviously, the epic poem taught us what is right from wrong. He expounded the reward for those who are good and punishment for those who are bad. There are many philosophical issues and ethics attached in the story.

MIMETIC APPROACH
The epic poem is a work of fiction, however, there’s a vast and huge truth in it. The characters’ fate based on their lived life on earth really accords with the real world.

FORMALISM APPROACH
The Divine Comedy is composed of over 14,000 lines that are divided into three canticas (Ital. pl. cantiche) — Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) — each consisting of 33 cantos. An initial canto serves as an introduction to the poem and is generally considered to be part of the first cantica, bringing the total number of cantos to 100. The number 3 is prominent in the work, represented here by the length of each cantica. The verse scheme used, terza rima, is hendecasyllabic (lines of eleven syllables), with the lines composing tercets according to the rhyme scheme aba, bcb, cdc, ded. Likewise, there are several scientific themes in the journey such as the numerology and the various time zones on earth. Example: it is sunset in Purgatory, midnight at the Ebro, dawn in Jerusalem and noon at River Ganges. DANTE IS REALLY A GENUIS TO CREATE THAT KIND OF RYHME, METER AND SCHEME.

READER RESPONSE APPROACH
No epic poem had captured booklovers than Divine Comedy. It is a pride of Italian literature that brings people to different aspects of life, be it in science, religion, socio-political aspect. HIS WORK FOR ME IS A COMPLETE PACKAGE WHICH HAS A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING. IT IS MY SECOND BEST FAVORITE MASTERPIECE ASIDE FROM ANNE FRANK.

The dominating approaches to be used in the epic poem are MYTH/SYMBOLIC/ARCHETYPAL APPROACH because there are symbols, motifs, archetypes, allegories, allusions and imagery he created. Nevertheless, the physical sensations and imagery are interesting to note when he described several places which connote sight, smell, touch, taste and sound to convey experiences in hell, purgatory and heaven.
Another approach is MORAL/ PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH simply because it challenges people to reach spiritual maturity through sincere repentance and conversion in order for them to have a face-to-face encounter with God and live forever in heaven singing blissfully with the angels.
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