Why Dante, 700 years later, is still a hell of a journey. Close your eyes and think of hell. It does not matter if you are not a Christian and have not read the Bible. You may be thinking of a real place. Ancient time. It rots, burns, red. It is full of twisted bodies, pain and punishment. Not good – it shouldn’t be. But if there really is an afterlife, then Dante Alighieri, who died 700 years ago, may be out there thinking, “The work is done”.
The great Italian nobleman, philosopher, and poet wrote his three-part novel, The Divine Comedy, just a year before his death in 1321. It follows the journey of the traveler to hell, purgatory and heaven, weaving the myths of the cursed and saved people he meets. on the way. His thinking about the world around us – deadly sins, gatherings for hell, and the punishments for fictitious crime — highlights our moral failures as individuals and as societies.
They appear in Bottelli and Dali’s paintings, Rodin’s portraits, TS Eliot’s poems, Neil Gaiman’s jokes, video games, episodes of The Sopranos and How I Met Your Mother, and even the band’s metal band Sepultura.
The influences of poetry are so broad and distant that three American universities have collaborated on a website to keep track of them all. Since 2006, Dante Today has been keeping a record of all modern references to this poem, using “seeing” and “counting”. They are very careful, even adding a hot-sauce brand called 10th Circle to their archive last month.
Italy celebrates Dante’s death with events throughout the year. First of all this is just a mouse click.
The Uffizi Gallery in Florence displays approximately 88 paintings by 16th-century artist Federico Zuccari inspired by The Divine Comedy. Among them is Lucifer’s portrait as a three-headed beast, and paintings of cruel but appropriate punishments – as a fragmentary construction work of the sin of pride. The show is “organized as a tour of categories that allow viewers to view… fully and in detail,” Uffizi said on its website.
Browse through, and you will see how much has changed peacefully. In today’s world, hell is no longer a distant entity to be dealt with after death. We are talking about our private hells and our own demons. Our corrupt – system, society, state.
Our understanding of God’s wrath and vengeance changed as science began to offer practical explanations for disasters and diseases, says musician Dhruvi Acharya. Her works include women who process their purgatories – the inner cry is like the external turmoil, the real world is powerful enough to provide an unnecessary afterlife.
He said that when people learn about the processes of nature and understand the cycles of cause and effect, they realize that ‘hell’ of disease, death and extreme poverty has its scientific and social significance in terms of greed, power and selfishness.
He also said that hte human beings now do not think of blaming any God for our destiny, knowing full well that it is often done by humanity, right or wrong, intentionally or not.
So while Dante’s poem shapes our understanding of human behavior, modern works show that we are already reaping what we have sown.
On TV, when Lucifer left hell for Los Angeles, running a nightclub and consulting with the local police, viewers happily stopped their disbelief. At Dante 2021, a three-phase BBC audio program on how the poet still controls the present tense, the idea is that hell, heaven and purgatory are here on earth, often within us.
In the meantime, Dante’s legacy could be revised later this year. The poet was accused of corruption in 1301, fined 5,000 florins, excommunicated from Florence and permanently barred from public office. In 1302, when he failed to appear in court, he was sentenced to death in his absence (he died of malaria 20 years later in Ravenna).
Seven hundred years later, one of Dante’s descendants, astronomer Sperello di Serego Alighieri, sought forgiveness after his death.
During the re-trial of the May trial, historians, linguists and lawyers will be looking to see if the corruption case will stand today. Among those involved was law professor Alessandro Traversi, a descendant of the official who convicted Dante. If there is an afterlife, Dante may have come to the conclusion that hell is on earth.