Violence in Dante's Inferno and Ovid's Metamorphoses Essay

1995 Words Apr 14th, 2014 8 Pages
Wright 1 1960 words

Julian E. Wright Dr. Sharon Fulton Literature Humanities/Essay 1 27 February 2014 Violence in Dante’s Inferno and Ovid’s Metamorphoses Scenes of great violence, as the prompt says, are often written into dynamic narratives of great literary merit. From Dante Alighieri’s Inferno to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the inclusion of violence as a literary technique is used to propel the narrative forward, all while adding action, intrigue, and engaging the reader. Despite it’s validity as a literary technique, the inclusion of violent scenes in literature serve much more than the simple purpose of pushing a plot along a set of structured points. Scenes of violence provoke thought in areas ranging from human nature to the nature of
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When The Harpies do this, they cause the trees to bleed, which in turn allows them to speak. Although they are in tree form, they still feel all of the pain that comes along with the violence of the Harpies. In Canto 4, Circle One, the scene of violences manifest as mental violence towards the sinners. Virgil explains to Dante the punishment of the Virtuous Pagans in this Canto, “For these defects, and for no other evil, we now are lost and punished just with this: we have no hope and yet we live in longing” (IV. 40­43). Because Beatrice sent him to Dante, Virgil has excessive knowledge of this circle as he lived among these sinners in a group of poets. Virgil’s words illustrate the violence that the Virtuous Pagans go through: a lack of hope. They lack hope of new life, forgiveness, and even in their God. This lack of hope violently attacks their minds just as brutally as physical violence would’ve attacked their body. Another representation of violence throughout Dante’s Inferno is the consequence of hypocrisy, shown in Canto 23, Circle Eight. These sinners suffer both physical and mental pain simultaneously as they are forced to wear heavy robes for the rest of eternity. As noted in the text, the robes appear to be gold, yet the sinners feel only the weight of them caused by the weight of the lead which lines the robes on the inside, “And they were dressed in cloaks with cowls so low they fell before their eyes, of that

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