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Research Paper | English Language and Literature | Philippines | Volume 8 Issue 3, March 2019
Imagery and Symbolism in Dantes Inferno: An Analysis
Dr. Chona M. Adlawan
Abstract: This research is an analysis of imagery and symbolisms in Dantes Inferno. Specifically, it looked into the images and symbols present in the first canticle of Dante Alighieris 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. Dantes 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, Dantes Inferno, allegory, epic, analysis
Edition: Volume 8 Issue 3, March 2019,
Pages: 1033 - 1036