The Inferno- Part Un

Thanks to watching Mad Men, I went through my collection and found Dante’s The Inferno.  I began to reread it.  I read it three times for three different classes while in college many years ago.  I got it then and get it more so now.  The aspect I feel like I am missing out on is reading it in the original Italian.  I studied some Italian in high school and recently tried a quick refresher but the quick refresher isn’t enough for Dante.

I am the way to the city of woe…..

Most people know this line, perhaps the most famous line from the book.  It was Dante’s version of “resistance is futile.”  And in his case in the book, it was.

Right now I’m slowly going through the first few circles of Hell.  Dante mysteriously crosses over into Hell, the only living being to do so.  This kind of puts him in a Greek mythology frame of mind.  Why Virgil as his guide?  Virgil was a great poet and scholars have guessed that Dante wanted to emulate him, or was it a political statement?  I don’t know enough about Virgil to make that assumption.  Any Latin scholars out there?

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