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Imagery and Symbolism in Dante's Inferno: An Analysis

Dr. Chona M. Adlawan

Abstract: This research is an analysis of imagery and symbolisms in Dante?s Inferno. Specifically, it looked into the images and symbols present in the first canticle of Dante Alighieri?s Divine Comedy, the Inferno, thereby excluding the last two books ? the Purgatorio (Purgatory) and the Paradiso (Paradise). This qualitative research utilized textual analysis in interpreting the different images and symbols found in the book. The analysis also examined figures of speech and other literary devices. This study is anchored on the mimetic or the classical theory which states that a literary work of art is a re-creation, a re-presentation, and a re-combination of what is found in reality. Dante?s Inferno gives readers an insight of the reality and the nature of sin. Based on the analysis, it was found out that people, beasts, monsters, and places in mythology are found in the Inferno, and used by Dante allegorically in the poem. Dante in the epic was himself a Florentine poet but allegorically, he is the image of a Christian sinner who journeyed through hell, purgatory and finally to paradise where he can find peace and salvation. Virgil, his companion in hell, is the image of Human Wisdom, while Beatrice, the Divine Wisdom. Beatrice also symbolizes the ?Blessed Virgin? or one of the ?God-bearers?. The three beasts: leopard, lion, and the she-wolf, symbolize sins and temptations. The leopard symbolizes lust, the lion pride, and the she-wolf avarice.

Keywords: Divine Comedy, imagery, symbolism, Dante?s Inferno, allegory, epic, analysis

Country: Philippines, Subject Area: English Literature

Pages: 1033 - 1036

Edition: Volume 8 Issue 3, March 2019

How to Cite this Article?

Dr. Chona M. Adlawan, "Imagery and Symbolism in Dante's Inferno: An Analysis", International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), https://www.ijsr.net/archive/v8i3/show_abstract.php?id=11031901, Volume 8 Issue 3, March 2019, 1033 - 1036

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