Don Quixote & Dante

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Dante Alighieri & Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

In Dante Alighieri’s Inferno and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s Don Quixote, among other themes we are provided with the theme of love. In Alighieri’s Inferno, we see the misuse of love lead to the consequences of the second realm of Hell where those whose reason was ruled by their appetite are damned for eternity, “And this, I learned, was the never ending flight of those who sinned in the flesh, the carnal and lusty/who betrayed reason to their appetite” (37-39). Here we see the pairing of Francesca and Paolo, two lovers whose lust for one another while alive doomed them to Hell. Francesca in legend was a daughter of Guido da Polenta of Ravenna. Her father arranged a political marriage for her to Giovanni Malatesta of Rimini, but Francesca and Giovanni’s younger brother fell in love and carried on an affair despite both of them being married. For their inability to control their lust and appetite for one another, they are doomed to this level of Hell for misuse of love.

However, this level of Hell is the level of the sins of incontinence, the least punished levels of Hell which include carnal sin, gluttony, spendthrifts and misers and other incontinents. Certainly, it is one of the least horrific circles of Hell, even though its inhabitants are guilty of carnal sin but because carnal sin is most associated with love and therefore is less punishable than other offenses punishment is lightest for carnal sinners

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Category: Literature - D

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