Click here to Download Divine Comedy PDF Book by Dante Alighieri having PDF Size 4 MB and No of Pages 266.
This canto, the prologue to Dante’s journey through the Inferno, acts also as an introduction to The Divine Comedy as a whole. At the age of thirty-five Dante realizes he is lost in a dark, terrifying wood. He takes heart when he sees in front of him a hilltop shining in sunlight. But, as he starts to climb the hill, he is frightened by a leopard which obstructs him in a threatening manner, and then by an angry lion, and finally by a she-wolf – the most alarming animal of the three.
Divine Comedy PDF Book by Dante Alighieri
|Name of Book||Divine Comedy|
|PDF Size||4 MB|
|No of Pages||266|
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About Book – Divine Comedy PDF Book Download by Dante Alighieri
So Dante is driven back into the darkness which – as we soon come to realize about everything in this poem – is both real and allegorical. (There are, throughout this poem, many kinds of allegory. For instance, the leopard, the lion and the she-wolf – emblems rather than symbols, and therefore in need of interpretation – are of a different order from the dark wood, whose import is obvious.)
A human figure approaches, and Dante, uncertain whether it is a living being or a ghost, implores its help. The figure explains that he is the shade of Virgil. This is the poet whom Dante, as he is quick to declare, admires more than any other. Virgil encourages Dante, and explains that he must travel by a different road if he is to find a way out of his difficulties.
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After making an obscure prophecy about the coming of a hound which will kill the shewolf and also be the saviour of Italy, Virgil says that he will guide Dante through the realms of the Inferno, inhabited by the souls of the damned, who are beyond all hope; and also through Purgatory, where the souls of those now doing penance for their sins are residing, glad to suffer because they have the certain hope of going ultimately to Paradise.
Virgil, because he was a pagan who lived and died before Christ and so could not believe in Him, cannot accompany Dante into Paradise. But he says there is another guide who will take Dante there. Dante accepts Virgil’s guidance, and they set off. The sun is now setting. This is a time when most creatures settle down to rest.
Dante, however, is preparing himself for the coming day-long journey and its hardships. He invokes the Muses to help him give a true account of his journey. Then he tells Virgil how he doubts his own ability to complete the task, and expresses his perplexity as to why he has been chosen for such an unusual enterprise.
He can understand why Aeneas was chosen, the man of destiny who was to found the race that founded Rome, the ruling city of a great empire and the seat of the Holy See. Divine Comedy PDF Book Download But Dante cannot think that any such destiny is prepared for him. He can understand too why St Paul was taken temporarily into Heaven while still alive.
But no one could believe that Dante is worthy of such a favour. To these doubts Virgil replies by saying that Dante is simply afraid. To combat Dante’s fear he will explain how he came to help him. Beatrice came to him in Limbo and asked for his help to save Dante from damnation. She promised in return to praise Virgil frequently in the presence of God.
In answer to Virgil’s question, Beatrice explains how she was not afraid to venture down from Heaven: the souls in bliss are not tormented by earthly things. Divine Comedy PDF Book Download Beatrice describes how Mary, the Mother of Christ, had asked St Lucy to help Dante, and St Lucy then asked her. With three such ladies caring for him (an outstanding example of the communion of the saints, in contrast to the lack of a sense of community we find in the Inferno) Dante must have nothing to fear.
Duly encouraged, Dante sets off with Virgil. Dante sees the terrible words written over the gate of the Inferno, stressing divine justice and the everlasting nature of the punishment which it inflicts. Dante is understandably perturbed, and Virgil has once again to remind him of the need for courage to face what lies ahead.
Inside the gate there is no light, no quiet, no rest. The damned are running continually, and to no purpose, after a banner whose significance is not specified. Divine Comedy PDF Book Download The souls here are of those who were neither for God nor against Him. Having shown neither the courage nor the energy to act decisively, they are now not good enough for heaven, and not evil enough for hell.
So they exist in a sort of antechamber of the Inferno. As if to emphasize the contempt in which they should be held, not one of these souls is named. Then Dante sees a crowd gathering on the bank of a river, the Acheron. A frightening, demonic boatman, Charon, comes towards them from the opposite bank to ferry them over.
He curses them. He also tells Dante that, since he is still alive, he cannot go in this boat. Virgil silences Charon by mentioning the inescapable nature of the decision which has brought Dante there. He explains to Dante that normally only the damned can go that way. As Charon’s boat moves off, another crowd of damned souls is already gathering to be ferried across.
Suddenly, the earth quakes, there is thunder and lightning, and Dante falls down in a faint. Dante is aroused by a clap of thunder, to find himself on the other side of Acheron. Divine Comedy PDF Book He and Virgil are on the edge of the abyss which is the Inferno proper. Dante’s fear is increased by the sight of Virgil’s pallor.
However, as Virgil explains, this pallor is not the result of fear, but of compassion for those who are suffering below. And so they enter Limbo, the first circle of the Inferno. Here nothing can be distinguished at first but the sighs of the damned, who are not here because they have sinned, but because they were not baptized.
Virgil himself is one of them. They sigh because of their spiritual grief: they endure no physical pain, but a strong and hopeless desire for God. Divine Comedy PDF Book Dante asks if anyone was ever taken from this place to bliss, and finds that Virgil understands what is in his mind. Virgil describes the Harrowing of Hell – the rescue by Christ, after His resurrection, of Old Testament patriarchs, one matriarch and others too many to mention.
These people worshipped the true God, even though they were not baptized, and they were the first to go to heaven. Dante and Virgil see ahead of them a hemisphere of light, in which Dante imagines there may be great spirits. Virgil confirms this, and says a special place is allotted to them.
A lone voice cries out to announce Virgil’s return. Then they are approached by the shades of Homer, Horace, Ovid and Lucan, who welcome Dante because he too is a poet. Divine Comedy PDF Book When they reach the light, they see it is a castle with seven high walls and a moat. Inside the castle are the shades of many celebrated people.
These include, apart from the four classical poets, Trojan and Roman heroes, pagan intellectuals and three Muslims. Dante and Virgil leave the four famous poets and go down to the second circle of the Inferno, where there is no light at all. Dante has left Limbo behind: now all the shades he meets have damned themselves by their own actions.
This second circle contains the lustful: worse sins are punished lower down in the Inferno. Divine Comedy PDF King Minos of Crete is here as judge, and he consigns the damned to an appropriate circle of the Inferno, winding his tail around himself a certain number of times to indicate how many circles down the sinner must go.
Like Charon, he tries to warn Dante off, but is rebuked with the same words which Virgil used to Charon. This circle resounds with cries of lamentation, mixed with the bellowing of opposing winds on which the spirits are carried higgledy-piggledy, as once they allowed themselves to be swept along by their passions.
Virgil names some of these spirits, all of them more or less legendary people, for whom the reader may well feel sympathy, so striking are their stories. Divine Comedy PDF But then Dante speaks to two people who had certainly existed and died during his lifetime – Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini.
It is clear why these two spirits are associated with the others: the immediate cause of their sin was their reading of a romantic episode of the Arthurian legends. Their fate is pitiful, and it disturbs Dante so much (he has, after all, himself been much concerned with literary depictions of love) that he faints.
This, justly one of the most famous episodes in the Comedy, has itself become part of the literature of romantic love. But a merely romantic interpretation of it would be inadequate. Divine Comedy PDF Francesca is damned out of her own mouth. All the souls have to reveal their unvarnished sins to Minos; but when she is speaking to Dante, Francesca tries subtly to exculpate herself, revealing the very irresponsibility which led to the damnable sinful act.
We find ourselves sympathizing with Francesca, not because the judgement on her is too hard, but because we have similar defects ourselves. The seriousness of the sin, with its dreadful consequence of three damnations, is neither glossed over by Dante nor blurred in a legendary mist.