• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Dante's sympathy for sinners - in The Divine Comedy

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,431
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
I'm reading Canto XIX of Dante's Inferno.

At this point Dante has met quite a few different people he knew or had opinion of - and he always expresses sympathy or some type of empathy and sorrow for their pain.

What is he feeling sorry for, however? The fact that they sinned and are being punished? or that they sinned - and still have yet to repent or realize their wrongs?

Reminds me of those "lockdown" type tv shows about the troubles and hardships of prison-life for convicts.
 
Last edited:

lizzie

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
28,580
Reaction score
31,551
Location
between two worlds
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Libertarian
He's feeling empathy (imo) because he identifies with them. I hope you enjoy it. It's one of my favorites of the classics.
 
Last edited:

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,431
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
It's a wonderful read! I'm really into it - I've read a lot of epics and this one is actually the only one that really *gets me* drawn in on a critical and moral level - judging and picking a view in regard to the situation rather than just being entertained passively.

Dante can actually piss me off, I've never gotten pissed of at a Character's actions and words before :)
 

lizzie

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
28,580
Reaction score
31,551
Location
between two worlds
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Libertarian
I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it.:) To me, it was a practice in a wide range of emotional expression and response. When I read something, I get as much enjoyment from what I learn about myself as I do the entertainment value.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,431
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
On a different note (I'm at Canto XXVI now) - in the eighth bolgia is a great example of why I love reading all of these ancient-Greek style or inspired writings. Stories either agree with each other on fictional events or they disagree on fictional events and rewrite fictional history - or branch away from the usual storyline that people think of.

In the eighth bolgia Dante and Virgil come to the sinners swathed in flames. There's one bundle of flames that is split at the top - Dante compares this to the split flames that came from Eteocles and Polynices' funeral pyre after they killed each other in battle.

However - in Antigone (a drama from Ancient Greece written by Sophocles) Eteocles and Polynices aren't burned together. Eteocles and Polynices *do* kill each other in battle but Creon favors Eteocles and refuses to bury Polynices - leaving him condemned to hell by not caring for him post mortem. Antigone defies Creon's orders and goes to bury her brother properly.

This is something you cannot find in modern day writings - where different stories involve the same fictional characters in a "chose your own adventure" style where a different story of the author's reference led the character down a different path. Imagine someone, today, trying to write a serious story involving Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings and Darth Mal from Star Wars.

The notion is absolutely ridiculous - but that's what Virgil and Dante, along with many others, have done. In the Inferno Dante has also meets Jason of the Argonauts and Caiaphas (man from the Bible who was a leader in condemning Jesus) - as well as Pope Nicolas the III.

Fascinating, I think, and he blends them all equally well in his storyline, too. In some cases it's like Poetic Justice is actually being served. . .Medusa's here, so are the Sirens . . . every major (and even unknown) people from fictional and nonfictional history find their way into Dante's Inferno.

Makes you wonder just who the heck didn't end up there!
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom