an english commentary on dantes divina commedia

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: AN ENGLISH COMMENTARY ON DANTE'S 'DIVINA COMMEDIA' INFERNO CANTO I Prefatory Note On Dante's Conception Of Hell. HELL, as conceived by Dante, is a vast funnel-shaped cavity, extending from the neighbourhood of the earth's surface to its centre. The area which is thus formed is divided into nine concentric circles, which descend one below the other, gradually narrowing, until the pit of Hell is reached, where Lucifer is stationed. In each of these circles a different form of sin is punished; and the upper part of the area, containing the first five circles, is assigned to the less heinous sins; the lower part, containing the four remaining circles, to the more heinous sins. The latter of these portions, which is called the City of Dis, is separated from the former by a strong wall of circuit. Within the gate of Hell, but on the hither side of the Acheron, beyond which stream the first circle commences, is a sort of Ante-Hell, in which the pusillanimous, or those who did neither good nor evil, are punished, together with those angels who were neutral at the time of Lucifer's rebellion. The first circle is the Limiuj, which contains the souls of the virtuous heathen and of unbaptized children; the suffering of these is confined to regret for their exclusion from the presence of God. In his journey through Hell Dante follows a leftward course throughout, that direction being intended to signify that the forms of sin which he passes become steadily worse as he descends. In contrast with this, his course through Purgatory is continuously towards the right hand. The time occupied by Dante's transit through the Inferno is between twenty-four and twenty-five hours. Argument.—Dante loses his way in a dark forest, and when at last he has escaped from this, and has regain...
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