2Author Biography Dante Alighieri Son of a nobleman Born May 1265 in Florence, ItalyReceived early education in FlorenceAttended the University of BolognaFought in the Florence Army in the Battle of Campaldino (1289), a conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines (supporters of the Pope and Holy Roman Emperor, respectively); Dante was 24
4Author Biography His great love seems to have been Beatrice Portinari. They met when they were children.Dante worshipped her.Beatrice was Dante’s inspiration for The Divine Comedy.After her death in 1290, he dedicated a book of verse, La Vita Nuova, or “The New Life,” to her.Though each married, they did not marry each other.
6Author BiographyDante entered an arranged marriage in 1291 with Gemma Donati, a noblewoman.They had four children—Jacopo, Pietro, Giovanni, and Antonia.Records contain little else about their life together.
7Author BiographyBy 1302, Dante was a political exile from Florence: the Black Guelph faction had finally taken over the city and killed many of their enemies.He probably started The Divine Comedy after this exile.Personages past and present from politics, history, mythology, religion, literature, and Dante’s personal life—including Beatrice—appear throughout The Divine Comedy.
8Dante’s Inferno: Introduction The Divine Comedy is made up of three parts, corresponding with Dante’s three journeys: Inferno (or Hell); Purgatorio (or Purgatory); and Paradiso (or Paradise).Each part consists of approximately 33 cantos.Inferno as epic poem = exalted subject matter, heroic actions, contains long speeches, begins in medias resTerza rima-11 syllables per line
9Dante’s InfernoDante and Virgil enter the wide gates of Hell and descend through the nine circles.In each circle they see sinners being punished for their sins on Earth; Dante sees the torture as Divine justice.
11Dante’s Inferno The sinners in the circles include: Circle One—Those in limbo (basically innocent people; unbaptized and unbelievers)Circle Two—The lustfulCircle Three—The gluttonous (food, drink, other addictions)Circle Four—The hoarders (greed as sin)Circle Five—The wrathfulCircle Six—The hereticsCircle Seven—The violentRing 1: Murderers, robbers, and plunderersRing 2: Suicides and those harmful to the worldRing 3: Those harmful against God, nature, art, as well as usurers (money-lenders)
13Dante’s Inferno: Introduction Circle Nine—TraitorsRegion i: Traitors to their kindredRegion ii: Traitors to their countryRegion iii: Traitors to their guestsRegion iv: Traitors to their lords
14SATAN Giant beast frozen in a lake of ice at the center of Hell Three headsBat-like wings under each chin create a wind that freezes all other sinners in the Ninth CircleChews on Judas, Brutus, and Cassius
15Dante’s Inferno: Introduction On Easter Sunday, Dante emerges from Hell (a symbolic relation to the Resurrection).Through his travels, he has found his way to God and is able, once more, to look upon the stars.