He was born to a middle-class Florentine family. At an early age he began to write poetry and became fascinated with lyrics. During his adolescence, Dante fell in love with a beautiful girl named Beatrice Portinari.
He cannot remember how he wandered away from his true path that he should be following, but he is in a fearful place, impenetrable and wild. He looks up from this dismal valley and sees the sun shining on the hilltop.
After resting for a moment, he begins to climb the hill towards the light, but he is suddenly confronted by a leopard, which blocks his way and he turns to evade it. Then a hungry lion appears more fearful than the leopard, but a "she-wolf" comes forward and drives Dante back down into the darkness of the valley.
Just as Dante begins to feel hopeless in his plight, a figure approaches him. It has difficulty speaking, as though it had not spoken for a long time. At first Dante is afraid, but then implores it for help, whether it be man or spirit.
When Virgil hears how Dante was driven back by the "she-wolf," he tells Dante that he must go another way because the she-wolf snares and kills all things.
However, Virgil prophesies that someday, a marvelous greyhound, whose food is wisdom, love, and courage, will come from the nation between "Feltro and Feltro," and save Italy, chasing the she-wolf back to Hell. Virgil commands Dante to follow him and see the horrible sights of the damned in Hell, the hope of those doing penance in Purgatory, and if he so desires, the realm of the blessed in Paradise.
Another guide will take him to this last realm, which Dante cannot or may not enter. Dante readily agrees, and the two poets begin their long journey.
Analysis This opening canto is an introduction to the entire Divine Comedy. This is made clear in the closing lines, when Virgil tells Dante that he can guide him only so far towards Paradise, and then another guide will have to take over because Virgil, being born before the birth of Jesus Christ, cannot ever be admitted to the "Blessed Realms.
It begins when Dante is halfway through his life — 35 years old, half of the biblical three score and ten — and he has lost his way.
When Dante speaks of having strayed from the right path, the reader should not assume that Dante has committed any specific sin or crime. Throughout the poem, Dante is advocating a strict adherence to medieval Catholic theology: Man must consciously strive for righteousness and morality.
In its simplest terms, Man can often become so involved with the day-to-day affairs of simply living that he will gradually relapse into a sort of lethargy in which he strays from the very strict paths of morality.
For Dante, Man must always be aware intellectually of his own need to perform the righteous act. Therefore, Sin is a perversion of the intellect. Thus, when Dante finds himself in a "dark wood," he is speaking allegorically for any man who is not constantly conscious of the "right path.
Throughout the poem, the classical poet Virgil stands for human reason and human virtue, two admirable characteristics in themselves, but alone they are not enough to gain salvation. Through his poetry, his high ethics and morals, and the mere fact that he, in his Aeneid, had already made a journey through Hell in the person of Aeneas, Virgil is the perfect guide for Dante.
Likewise, he has not spoken to a mortal since his death, and thus is unaccustomed to talking. And it is a common belief that a spirit cannot speak to a human until that human first speaks to the spirit — a custom used by Hamlet in approaching the ghost of his father.
Glossary True Way the way of God. Lombard a native or inhabitant of Lombardy. Augustus Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus 63 b. King of Time Christ.Dec 04, · Dante's Inferno summary in under five minutes! Dante Alighieri's epic poem Inferno, the first part of Dante's Divine Comedy, is the classic Italian book about the nine circles of hell.
The Divine Comedy: Inferno Dante Alighieri. BUY SHARE. BUY! Home; Literature Notes; The Divine Comedy: Inferno; Poem Summary; Table of Contents.
All Subjects. Poem Summary; About The Divine Comedy: Inferno; Character List; Summary and Analysis and here Dante recognizes a Florentine, Ciacco, who gives Dante the first of many .
The Divine Comedy summary gives a picture of the realms of Dante’s afterlife. The Divine Comedy splits into three parts, and each section is broken down into canti or what is called chapters: The first part is called the Inferno (hell), Dante starts with .
The Divine Comedy is composed of 14, lines that are divided into three cantiche (singular cantica) – Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso – each consisting of 33 cantos (Italian plural canti). An initial canto, serving as an introduction to the poem and generally considered to be part of the first cantica, brings the total number of Original language: Italian.
The Inferno is the first part of Dante Alighieri's poem, the Divine Comedy, which chronicles Dante's journey to God, and is made up of the Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise). The poems are quite short: it would take about as long to read the whole Inferno as it would to.
It is the first part of Dante’s three part epic poem entitled, “The Divine Comedy”. “The Inferno of Dante Alighieri” transports the reader into a gradual ride, going from an familiar and earthly land, to descending the depths of Hell in the search of salvation.