Dante: Divine Comedy and Poeta Dante Alighieri Essay

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Dante: Il Poeta

Dante Alighieri, il Somma Poeta (“The Supreme Poet,”) or referred to simply as "Dante," is considered one of the finest poets of the Middle Ages and is best known for his epic La divina commedia, or "The Divine Comedy." He was also a philosopher and political thinker and his deep involvement in politics eventually led to his exile from Florence. Dante wrote most of his poetry in the Italian vernacular instead of Latin, a choice that would influence the entire course of western literary development. His work “The Divine Comedy” has influenced many authors and artists alike throughout the years.
Dante quite frequently in his work shows concerns and makes reference to political turmoil. Being a political figure, there are many who agree and likewise, disagree with his ideals. Dante was born and raised in Florence, the most important and influential city in the region of central Italy. Italy was not a unified state in the Middle Ages and was affected especially by warfare in the decades immediately before, during, and after Dante’s life. There were two rival international factions frequently in turmoil: The Guelfs, allied with the papacy, and the Ghibellines, allied with the German based Holy Roman Empire. Dante took great pride in his city’s republican traditions of non-aristocratic self-rule and its importance as a major cultural and economical center. He was a public figure who held an important civic office. Soon after the Ghibellines were removed from Florence, the Guelf party broke into two factions: the White and Black. Dante allied with the whites. While on a diplomatic mission to Rome, he was accused of crimes against the community and sentenced to temporary exile. When he failed to appear to answer the charges, his sentence was raised to burning at the stake if he ever returned to Florence. Dante spent the rest of his life wandering from city to city and receiving aid from various Italian executive figures.
It was during this time of exile that Dante produced The Divine Comedy, divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. In it, among other moral concepts, he writes of his disgust of worldly powers. Dante came to believe that the papacy should be concerned solely with spiritual matters and that in order to have a proper government, one Emperor should rule Europe. He incorporates into Divine Comedy important political, philosophical, and theological ideals in a way that shows…