Teacher & Student Relationship Between Dante and Term Paper

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teacher & student relationship between Dante and Virgil in Dante's Inferno

This paper presents a detailed examination of the relationship between Dante and Virgil in Dante's Inferno. The writer uses examples and character analysis to present the relationship between the two to the reader.

The unfolding of Dante's Inferno is one in which the reader is drawn into the personality characteristics of the players. Because the topic of the writing is enmeshed in the understanding of hell it is important that the reader become attached to the various players in the work so the reader can understand who the events took place. The relationship between Dante and Virgil is extremely important to the context of the story. Dante and Virgil have a relationship that provides a tour and pathway to the ideas the writer wants the reader to understand and grasp. The relationship between the two moves in several directions and takes the reader on an exploratory examination not only of hell but also of interaction. One can easily see that the relationship was extremely important to Dante as Virgil is mentioned many times throughout
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the writings. Dante views Virgil as his inspiration as well as his master and mentor. This acceptance of the importance of Virgil by Dante provides for interactions to become clearer between the two.

It is easy to understand why he held Virgil in such high regard. The encounter with the animals that included a she-wolf, a lion and a leopard put a tremendous fear in Dante's heart as it would any man. Dante in his fear flees to escape and runs into Virgil. Virgil promises to protect him and guide him through hell, purgatory and heaven. At first glance it is understandable that Dante viewed Virgil as a savior to himself, but at closer inspection it would be almost expected given the circumstance that he was running from. The next example of how Dante came to hold Virgil in regard was Virgil's explanation that he was sent to Dante through the Virgin Mary. Dante, being the deeply spiritual man that he was became reassured. Even in current times this might strike someone as a sign or a gift from God. In the time that Dante…

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The relationship between Dante and Virgil is also affected by Virgil's understanding of human nature. While Virgil was a Pagan Dante believed that God sent him and his understanding of human nature was gifted to him by divinity. Virgil's bluntness about his lack of ability to take Dante to God further cemented the trust Dante placed in Virgil. Getting to God was very important to Dante and when Virgil confessed he was not worthy because he was a pagan and then offered to take him through the hell and purgatory as far as he could then turn Dante over to someone worthy of completing the trip gave Dante more respect for Virgil than ever. He viewed Virgil as a guide and placed his faith in him because of the honest way Virgil had approached him throughout the work.

The relationship between Virgil and Dante is a complicated one because Dante, as a faith filled man would not normally turn to a Pagan or one who God was against for help. However, because of the very fact that Virgil was not in good favor by God Dante believed he would indeed be the best teacher and guide through hell and purgatory. Their relationship, especially considering the opposite ends of their faith, was close, interlocked and one of teacher and student.

Alighieri, Dante. Dante's Inferno (Signet Classic, 2001).

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