Examples Of Allegory In Dante's Inferno

1042 Words5 Pages
True Meanings (An Examination of the Uses of Allegory in Dante’s Inferno) An allegory is a story or poem that on one level is entertaining to read, enjoyable, but on another level has significance, a moral message. There have been many great works of art throughout the history of the human race that use this valuable tool. When Christ used it to tell messages it was called parables. We use it in everyday conversation to help convey our meaning and express our opinions. In the poem the Inferno by Dante, there are allegories in every level of hell, every form of punishment and every step of Dante’s path. “Dante also felt that writing should reflect a balance between the ideas and the realities of a man's life, so we see him moving between two…show more content…
Limbo is the home of the virtuous and unbaptized souls, many of whom are great poets and philosophers of the past. Great writers like homer, Horace, Ovid, and his guide through hell, Virgil. Virgil comes from the circle of hell called limbo, where they are not tortured by anything other than the fact that as Virtuous pagans, they can never reach the light of God. “‘You do not question what souls these are that suffer here before you? I wish you to know before you travel on that these were sinless and still their merits fail’ ” (Dante). The allegory being made through Virgil and his fellow poets in Limbo is anyone can be a good person but without the faith they can never reach paradise in heaven. “As the astonished shades press toward Dante's living body in Purgatory, Virgil insists that Dante listen, but also that he keep moving” (Stewart). Susan Stewart is referring to the fact that Dante’s guide Virgil is like our own conscience, the little voice inside our head that tells us to be moral. Like the cricket in the children’s tale Pinocchio, Virgil is always by his side keeping him moving forward on his path. The message Dante is truly telling the readers of the Inferno is to always move forward, you cannot give
Open Document