✯✯✯ Violence In Dantes Inferno

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Violence In Dantes Inferno



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Dante's Inferno Walkthrough - Descent Into Violence

We will fancy him to be the Type Norseman; the finest Teuton whom that race had yet produced. The rude Norse heart burst up into boundless admiration round him; into adoration. He is as a root of so many great things; the fruit of him is found growing from deep thousands of years, over the whole field of Teutonic Life. Our own Wednesday, as I said, is it not still Odin's Day? Wednesbury, Wansborough, Wanstead, Wandsworth: Odin grew into England too, these are still leaves from that root! He was the Chief God to all the Teutonic Peoples; their Pattern Norseman;—in such way did they admire their Pattern Norseman; that was the fortune he had in the world.

Thus if the man Odin himself have vanished utterly, there is this huge Shadow of him which still projects itself over the whole History of his People. For this Odin once admitted to be God, we can understand well that the whole Scandinavian Scheme of Nature, or dim No-scheme, whatever it might before have been, would now begin to develop itself altogether differently, and grow thenceforth in a new manner. What this Odin saw into, and taught with his runes and his rhymes, the whole Teutonic People laid to heart and carried forward. His way of thought became their way of thought:—such, under new conditions, is the history of every great thinker still.

In gigantic confused lineaments, like some enormous camera-obscure shadow thrown upwards from the dead deeps of the Past, and covering the whole Northern Heaven, is not that Scandinavian Mythology in some sort the Portraiture of this man Odin? The gigantic image of his natural face, legible or not legible there, expanded and confused in that manner! Ah, Thought, I say, is always Thought. No great man lives in vain. The History of the world is but the Biography of great men. To me there is something very touching in this primeval figure of Heroism; in such artless, helpless, but hearty entire reception of a Hero by his fellow-men.

Never so helpless in shape, it is the noblest of feelings, and a feeling in some shape or other perennial as man himself. If I could show in any measure, what I feel deeply for a long time now, That it is the vital element of manhood, the soul of man's history here in our world,—it would be the chief use of this discoursing at present. We do not now call our great men Gods, nor admire without limit; ah no, with limit enough! But if we have no great men, or do not admire at all,—that were a still worse case. This poor Scandinavian Hero-worship, that whole Norse way of looking at the Universe, and adjusting oneself there, has an indestructible merit for us. A rude childlike way of recognizing the divineness of Nature, the divineness of Man; most rude, yet heartfelt, robust, giantlike; betokening what a giant of a man this child would yet grow to!

Is it not as the half-dumb stifled voice of the long-buried generations of our own Fathers, calling out of the depths of ages to us, in whose veins their blood still runs: "This then, this is what we made of the world: this is all the image and notion we could form to ourselves of this great mystery of a Life and Universe. Despise it not. You are raised high above it, to large free scope of vision; but you too are not yet at the top. No, your notion too, so much enlarged, is but a partial, imperfect one; that matter is a thing no man will ever, in time or out of time, comprehend; after thousands of years of ever-new expansion, man will find himself but struggling to comprehend again a part of it: the thing is larger shall man, not to be comprehended by him; an Infinite thing!

The essence of the Scandinavian, as indeed of all Pagan Mythologies, we found to be recognition of the divineness of Nature; sincere communion of man with the mysterious invisible Powers visibly seen at work in the world round him. This, I should say, is more sincerely done in the Scandinavian than in any Mythology I know. Sincerity is the great characteristic of it. Superior sincerity far superior consoles us for the total want of old Grecian grace. Sincerity, I think, is better than grace. I feel that these old Northmen wore looking into Nature with open eye and soul: most earnest, honest; childlike, and yet manlike; with a great-hearted simplicity and depth and freshness, in a true, loving, admiring, unfearing way.

A right valiant, true old race of men. Such recognition of Nature one finds to be the chief element of Paganism; recognition of Man, and his Moral Duty, though this too is not wanting, comes to be the chief element only in purer forms of religion. Here, indeed, is a great distinction and epoch in Human Beliefs; a great landmark in the religious development of Mankind. Man first puts himself in relation with Nature and her Powers, wonders and worships over those; not till a later epoch does he discern that all Power is Moral, that the grand point is the distinction for him of Good and Evil, of Thou shalt and Thou shalt not. With regard to all these fabulous delineations in the Edda , I will remark, moreover, as indeed was already hinted, that most probably they must have been of much newer date; most probably, even from the first, were comparatively idle for the old Norsemen, and as it were a kind of Poetic sport.

Allegory and Poetic Delineation, as I said above, cannot be religious Faith; the Faith itself must first be there, then Allegory enough will gather round it, as the fit body round its soul. The Norse Faith, I can well suppose, like other Faiths, was most active while it lay mainly in the silent state, and had not yet much to say about itself, still less to sing. Among those shadowy Edda matters, amid all that fantastic congeries of assertions, and traditions, in their musical Mythologies, the main practical belief a man could have was probably not much more than this: of the Valkyrs and the Hall of Odin ; of an inflexible Destiny ; and that the one thing needful for a man was to be brave. The Valkyrs are Choosers of the Slain: a Destiny inexorable, which it is useless trying to bend or soften, has appointed who is to be slain; this was a fundamental point for the Norse believer;—as indeed it is for all earnest men everywhere, for a Mahomet, a Luther, for a Napoleon too.

It lies at the basis this for every such man; it is the woof out of which his whole system of thought is woven. The Valkyrs ; and then that these Choosers lead the brave to a heavenly Hall of Odin ; only the base and slavish being thrust elsewhither, into the realms of Hela the Death-goddess: I take this to have been the soul of the whole Norse Belief. They understood in their heart that it was indispensable to be brave; that Odin would have no favor for them, but despise and thrust them out, if they were not brave. Consider too whether there is not something in this! It is an everlasting duty, valid in our day as in that, the duty of being brave. Valor is still value. The first duty for a man is still that of subduing Fear. We must get rid of Fear; we cannot act at all till then.

A man's acts are slavish, not true but specious; his very thoughts are false, he thinks too as a slave and coward, till he have got Fear under his feet. Odin's creed, if we disentangle the real kernel of it, is true to this hour. A man shall and must be valiant; he must march forward, and quit himself like a man,—trusting imperturbably in the appointment and choice of the upper Powers; and, on the whole, not fear at all.

Now and always, the completeness of his victory over Fear will determine how much of a man he is. It is doubtless very savage that kind of valor of the old Northmen. Snorro tells us they thought it a shame and misery not to die in battle; and if natural death seemed to be coming on, they would cut wounds in their flesh, that Odin might receive them as warriors slain. Old kings, about to die, had their body laid into a ship; the ship sent forth, with sails set and slow fire burning it; that, once out at sea, it might blaze up in flame, and in such manner bury worthily the old hero, at once in the sky and in the ocean! Wild bloody valor; yet valor of its kind; better, I say, than none.

In the old Sea-kings too, what an indomitable rugged energy! Silent, with closed lips, as I fancy them, unconscious that they were specially brave; defying the wild ocean with its monsters, and all men and things;—progenitors of our own Blakes and Nelsons! No Homer sang these Norse Sea-kings; but Agamemnon's was a small audacity, and of small fruit in the world, to some of them;—to Hrolf's of Normandy, for instance! Nor was it altogether nothing, even that wild sea-roving and battling, through so many generations. It needed to be ascertained which was the strongest kind of men; who were to be ruler over whom. Much lies in that.

I suppose at bottom many of them were forest-fellers as well as fighters, though the Skalds talk mainly of the latter,—misleading certain critics not a little; for no nation of men could ever live by fighting alone; there could not produce enough come out of that! I suppose the right good fighter was oftenest also the right good forest-feller,—the right good improver, discerner, doer and worker in every kind; for true valor, different enough from ferocity, is the basis of all.

A more legitimate kind of valor that; showing itself against the untamed Forests and dark brute Powers of Nature, to conquer Nature for us. In the same direction have not we their descendants since carried it far? May such valor last forever with us! That the man Odin, speaking with a Hero's voice and heart, as with an impressiveness out of Heaven, told his People the infinite importance of Valor, how man thereby became a god; and that his People, feeling a response to it in their own hearts, believed this message of his, and thought it a message out of Heaven, and him a Divinity for telling it them: this seems to me the primary seed-grain of the Norse Religion, from which all manner of mythologies, symbolic practices, speculations, allegories, songs and sagas would naturally grow.

Grow,—how strangely! I called it a small light shining and shaping in the huge vortex of Norse darkness. Yet the darkness itself was alive ; consider that. It was the eager inarticulate uninstructed Mind of the whole Norse People, longing only to become articulate, to go on articulating ever farther! The living doctrine grows, grows;—like a Banyan-tree; the first seed is the essential thing: any branch strikes itself down into the earth, becomes a new root; and so, in endless complexity, we have a whole wood, a whole jungle, one seed the parent of it all. Was not the whole Norse Religion, accordingly, in some sense, what we called "the enormous shadow of this man's likeness"?

Critics trace some affinity in some Norse mythuses, of the Creation and such like, with those of the Hindoos. The Cow Adumbla, "licking the rime from the rocks," has a kind of Hindoo look. A Hindoo Cow, transported into frosty countries. Probably enough; indeed we may say undoubtedly, these things will have a kindred with the remotest lands, with the earliest times. Thought does not die, but only is changed. The first man that began to think in this Planet of ours, he was the beginner of all. And then the second man, and the third man;—nay, every true Thinker to this hour is a kind of Odin, teaches men his way of thought, spreads a shadow of his own likeness over sections of the History of the World. Of the distinctive poetic character or merit of this Norse Mythology I have not room to speak; nor does it concern us much.

Some wild Prophecies we have, as the Voluspa in the Elder Edda ; of a rapt, earnest, sibylline sort. But they were comparatively an idle adjunct of the matter, men who as it were but toyed with the matter, these later Skalds; and it is their songs chiefly that survive. In later centuries, I suppose, they would go on singing, poetically symbolizing, as our modern Painters paint, when it was no longer from the innermost heart, or not from the heart at all. This is everywhere to be well kept in mind. Gray's fragments of Norse Lore, at any rate, will give one no notion of it;—any more than Pope will of Homer. It is no square-built gloomy palace of black ashlar marble, shrouded in awe and horror, as Gray gives it us: no; rough as the North rocks, as the Iceland deserts, it is; with a heartiness, homeliness, even a tint of good humor and robust mirth in the middle of these fearful things.

The strong old Norse heart did not go upon theatrical sublimities; they had not time to tremble. I like much their robust simplicity; their veracity, directness of conception. Thor "draws down his brows" in a veritable Norse rage; "grasps his hammer till the knuckles grow white. Balder "the white God" dies; the beautiful, benignant; he is the Sungod. They try all Nature for a remedy; but he is dead. Frigga, his mother, sends Hermoder to seek or see him: nine days and nine nights he rides through gloomy deep valleys, a labyrinth of gloom; arrives at the Bridge with its gold roof: the Keeper says, "Yes, Balder did pass here; but the Kingdom of the Dead is down yonder, far towards the North.

Hela will not, for Odin or any God, give him up. The beautiful and gentle has to remain there. His Wife had volunteered to go with him, to die with him. They shall forever remain there. He sends his ring to Odin; Nanna his wife sends her thimble to Frigga, as a remembrance. For indeed Valor is the fountain of Pity too;—of Truth, and all that is great and good in man. The robust homely vigor of the Norse heart attaches one much, in these delineations. Is it not a trait of right honest strength, says Uhland, who has written a fine Essay on Thor, that the old Norse heart finds its friend in the Thunder-god? That it is not frightened away by his thunder; but finds that Summer-heat, the beautiful noble summer, must and will have thunder withal!

The Norse heart loves this Thor and his hammer-bolt; sports with him. Thor is Summer-heat: the god of Peaceable Industry as well as Thunder. He is the Peasant's friend; his true henchman and attendant is Thialfi, Manual Labor. Thor himself engages in all manner of rough manual work, scorns no business for its plebeianism; is ever and anon travelling to the country of the Jotuns, harrying those chaotic Frost-monsters, subduing them, at least straitening and damaging them. There is a great broad humor in some of these things.

Thor, as we saw above, goes to Jotun-land, to seek Hymir's Caldron, that the Gods may brew beer. Hymir the huge Giant enters, his gray beard all full of hoar-frost; splits pillars with the very glance of his eye; Thor, after much rough tumult, snatches the Pot, claps it on his head; the "handles of it reach down to his heels. This is the Hymir whose cattle, the critics have discovered, are Icebergs. Huge untutored Brobdignag genius,—needing only to be tamed down; into Shakspeares, Dantes, Goethes! It is all gone now, that old Norse work,—Thor the Thunder-god changed into Jack the Giant-killer: but the mind that made it is here yet.

How strangely things grow, and die, and do not die! There are twigs of that great world-tree of Norse Belief still curiously traceable. This poor Jack of the Nursery, with his miraculous shoes of swiftness, coat of darkness, sword of sharpness, he is one. Nay, Shakspeare's Hamlet is a twig too of this same world-tree; there seems no doubt of that. Hamlet, Amleth I find, is really a mythic personage; and his Tragedy, of the poisoned Father, poisoned asleep by drops in his ear, and the rest, is a Norse mythus!

Old Saxo, as his wont was, made it a Danish history; Shakspeare, out of Saxo, made it what we see. That is a twig of the world-tree that has grown , I think;—by nature or accident that one has grown! In fact, these old Norse songs have a truth in them, an inward perennial truth and greatness,—as, indeed, all must have that can very long preserve itself by tradition alone. It is a greatness not of mere body and gigantic bulk, but a rude greatness of soul. There is a sublime uncomplaining melancholy traceable in these old hearts.

A great free glance into the very deeps of thought. They seem to have seen, these brave old Northmen, what Meditation has taught all men in all ages, That this world is after all but a show,—a phenomenon or appearance, no real thing. All deep souls see into that,—the Hindoo Mythologist, the German Philosopher,—the Shakspeare, the earnest Thinker, wherever he may be:. One of Thor's expeditions, to Utgard the Outer Garden, central seat of Jotun-land , is remarkable in this respect. Thialfi was with him, and Loke. After various adventures, they entered upon Giant-land; wandered over plains, wild uncultivated places, among stones and trees. At nightfall they noticed a house; and as the door, which indeed formed one whole side of the house, was open, they entered.

It was a simple habitation; one large hall, altogether empty. They stayed there. Suddenly in the dead of the night loud noises alarmed them. Thor grasped his hammer; stood in the door, prepared for fight. His companions within ran hither and thither in their terror, seeking some outlet in that rude hall; they found a little closet at last, and took refuge there. Neither had Thor any battle: for, lo, in the morning it turned out that the noise had been only the snoring of a certain enormous but peaceable Giant, the Giant Skrymir, who lay peaceably sleeping near by; and this that they took for a house was merely his Glove , thrown aside there; the door was the Glove-wrist; the little closet they had fled into was the Thumb!

Such a glove;—I remark too that it had not fingers as ours have, but only a thumb, and the rest undivided: a most ancient, rustic glove! Skrymir now carried their portmanteau all day; Thor, however, had his own suspicions, did not like the ways of Skrymir; determined at night to put an end to him as he slept. Raising his hammer, he struck down into the Giant's face a right thunder-bolt blow, of force to rend rocks.

The Giant merely awoke; rubbed his cheek, and said, Did a leaf fall? Again Thor struck, so soon as Skrymir again slept; a better blow than before; but the Giant only murmured, Was that a grain of sand? Thor's third stroke was with both his hands the "knuckles white" I suppose , and seemed to dint deep into Skrymir's visage; but he merely checked his snore, and remarked, There must be sparrows roosting in this tree, I think; what is that they have dropt? Thor and his companions were admitted; invited to take share in the games going on.

To Thor, for his part, they handed a Drinking-horn; it was a common feat, they told him, to drink this dry at one draught. Long and fiercely, three times over, Thor drank; but made hardly any impression. He was a weak child, they told him: could he lift that Cat he saw there? Small as the feat seemed, Thor with his whole godlike strength could not; he bent up the creature's back, could not raise its feet off the ground, could at the utmost raise one foot. Why, you are no man, said the Utgard people; there is an Old Woman that will wrestle you!

Thor, heartily ashamed, seized this haggard Old Woman; but could not throw her. And now, on their quitting Utgard, the chief Jotun, escorting them politely a little way, said to Thor: "You are beaten then:—yet be not so much ashamed; there was deception of appearance in it. That Horn you tried to drink was the Sea ; you did make it ebb; but who could drink that, the bottomless! The Cat you would have lifted,—why, that is the Midgard-snake , the Great World-serpent, which, tail in mouth, girds and keeps up the whole created world; had you torn that up, the world must have rushed to ruin! No man nor no god with her; gods or men, she prevails over all! And then those three strokes you struck,—look at these three valleys ; your three strokes made these!

But Skrymir had vanished; Utgard with its sky-high gates, when Thor grasped his hammer to smite them, had gone to air; only the Giant's voice was heard mocking: "Better come no more to Jotunheim! This is of the allegoric period, as we see, and half play, not of the prophetic and entirely devout: but as a mythus is there not real antique Norse gold in it? More true metal, rough from the Mimer-stithy, than in many a famed Greek Mythus shaped far better! A great broad Brobdignag grin of true humor is in this Skrymir; mirth resting on earnestness and sadness, as the rainbow on black tempest: only a right valiant heart is capable of that. It is the grim humor of our own Ben Jonson, rare old Ben; runs in the blood of us, I fancy; for one catches tones of it, under a still other shape, out of the American Backwoods.

That is also a very striking conception that of the Ragnarok , Consummation, or Twilight of the Gods. It is in the Voluspa Song; seemingly a very old, prophetic idea. The Gods and Jotuns, the divine Powers and the chaotic brute ones, after long contest and partial victory by the former, meet at last in universal world-embracing wrestle and duel; World-serpent against Thor, strength against strength; mutually extinctive; and ruin, "twilight" sinking into darkness, swallows the created Universe.

The old Universe with its Gods is sunk; but it is not final death: there is to be a new Heaven and a new Earth; a higher supreme God, and Justice to reign among men. Curious: this law of mutation, which also is a law written in man's inmost thought, had been deciphered by these old earnest Thinkers in their rude style; and how, though all dies, and even gods die, yet all death is but a phoenix fire-death, and new-birth into the Greater and the Better! All earnest men have seen into it; may still see into it. And now, connected with this, let us glance at the last mythus of the appearance of Thor; and end there.

I fancy it to be the latest in date of all these fables; a sorrowing protest against the advance of Christianity,—set forth reproachfully by some Conservative Pagan. King Olaf has been harshly blamed for his over-zeal in introducing Christianity; surely I should have blamed him far more for an under-zeal in that! He paid dear enough for it; he died by the revolt of his Pagan people, in battle, in the year , at Stickelstad, near that Drontheim, where the chief Cathedral of the North has now stood for many centuries, dedicated gratefully to his memory as Saint Olaf.

The mythus about Thor is to this effect. King Olaf, the Christian Reform King, is sailing with fit escort along the shore of Norway, from haven to haven; dispensing justice, or doing other royal work: on leaving a certain haven, it is found that a stranger, of grave eyes and aspect, red beard, of stately robust figure, has stept in. The courtiers address him; his answers surprise by their pertinency and depth: at length he is brought to the King. The stranger's conversation here is not less remarkable, as they sail along the beautiful shore; but after some time, he addresses King Olaf thus: "Yes, King Olaf, it is all beautiful, with the sun shining on it there; green, fruitful, a right fair home for you; and many a sore day had Thor, many a wild fight with the rock Jotuns, before he could make it so.

And now you seem minded to put away Thor. King Olaf, have a care! Do we not see well enough how the Fable might arise, without unveracity on the part of any one? It is the way most Gods have come to appear among men: thus, if in Pindar's time "Neptune was seen once at the Nemean Games," what was this Neptune too but a "stranger of noble grave aspect,"—fit to be "seen"! There is something pathetic, tragic for me in this last voice of Paganism.

Thor is vanished, the whole Norse world has vanished; and will not return ever again. In like fashion to that, pass away the highest things. All things that have been in this world, all things that are or will be in it, have to vanish: we have our sad farewell to give them. That Norse Religion, a rude but earnest, sternly impressive Consecration of Valor so we may define it , sufficed for these old valiant Northmen. Consecration of Valor is not a bad thing! We will take it for good, so far as it goes. Neither is there no use in knowing something about this old Paganism of our Fathers.

Unconsciously, and combined with higher things, it is in us yet, that old Faith withal! To know it consciously, brings us into closer and clearer relation with the Past,—with our own possessions in the Past. For the whole Past, as I keep repeating, is the possession of the Present; the Past had always something true , and is a precious possession. In a different time, in a different place, it is always some other side of our common Human Nature that has been developing itself. The actual True is the sum of all these; not any one of them by itself constitutes what of Human Nature is hitherto developed. Better to know them all than misknow them. From the first rude times of Paganism among the Scandinavians in the North, we advance to a very different epoch of religion, among a very different people: Mahometanism among the Arabs.

A great change; what a change and progress is indicated here, in the universal condition and thoughts of men! The Hero is not now regarded as a God among his fellowmen; but as one God-inspired, as a Prophet. It is the second phasis of Hero-worship: the first or oldest, we may say, has passed away without return; in the history of the world there will not again be any man, never so great, whom his fellowmen will take for a god. Nay we might rationally ask, Did any set of human beings ever really think the man they saw there standing beside them a god, the maker of this world?

Perhaps not: it was usually some man they remembered, or had seen. But neither can this any more be. The Great Man is not recognized henceforth as a god any more. It was a rude gross error, that of counting the Great Man a god. Yet let us say that it is at all times difficult to know what he is, or how to account of him and receive him! The most significant feature in the history of an epoch is the manner it has of welcoming a Great Man. Ever, to the true instincts of men, there is something godlike in him. Whether they shall take him to be a god, to be a prophet, or what they shall take him to be? For at bottom the Great Man, as he comes from the hand of Nature, is ever the same kind of thing: Odin, Luther, Johnson, Burns; I hope to make it appear that these are all originally of one stuff; that only by the world's reception of them, and the shapes they assume, are they so immeasurably diverse.

The worship of Odin astonishes us,—to fall prostrate before the Great Man, into deliquium of love and wonder over him, and feel in their hearts that he was a denizen of the skies, a god! This was imperfect enough: but to welcome, for example, a Burns as we did, was that what we can call perfect? The most precious gift that Heaven can give to the Earth; a man of "genius" as we call it; the Soul of a Man actually sent down from the skies with a God's-message to us,—this we waste away as an idle artificial firework, sent to amuse us a little, and sink it into ashes, wreck and ineffectuality: such reception of a Great Man I do not call very perfect either!

Looking into the heart of the thing, one may perhaps call that of Burns a still uglier phenomenon, betokening still sadder imperfections in mankind's ways, than the Scandinavian method itself! To fall into mere unreasoning deliquium of love and admiration, was not good; but such unreasoning, nay irrational supercilious no-love at all is perhaps still worse!

Indeed, the heart of the whole business of the age, one may say, is to do it well. We have chosen Mahomet not as the most eminent Prophet; but as the one we are freest to speak of. He is by no means the truest of Prophets; but I do esteem him a true one. Farther, as there is no danger of our becoming, any of us, Mahometans, I mean to say all the good of him I justly can. It is the way to get at his secret: let us try to understand what he meant with the world; what the world meant and means with him, will then be a more answerable question. Our current hypothesis about Mahomet, that he was a scheming Impostor, a Falsehood incarnate, that his religion is a mere mass of quackery and fatuity, begins really to be now untenable to any one.

The lies, which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man, are disgraceful to ourselves only. When Pococke inquired of Grotius, Where the proof was of that story of the pigeon, trained to pick peas from Mahomet's ear, and pass for an angel dictating to him? Grotius answered that there was no proof! It is really time to dismiss all that. The word this man spoke has been the life-guidance now of a hundred and eighty millions of men these twelve hundred years. These hundred and eighty millions were made by God as well as we. A greater number of God's creatures believe in Mahomet's word at this hour, than in any other word whatever.

Are we to suppose that it was a miserable piece of spiritual legerdemain, this which so many creatures of the Almighty have lived by and died by? I, for my part, cannot form any such supposition. I will believe most things sooner than that. One would be entirely at a loss what to think of this world at all, if quackery so grew and were sanctioned here. Alas, such theories are very lamentable. If we would attain to knowledge of anything in God's true Creation, let us disbelieve them wholly! They are the product of an Age of Scepticism: they indicate the saddest spiritual paralysis, and mere death-life of the souls of men: more godless theory, I think, was never promulgated in this Earth.

A false man found a religion? Why, a false man cannot build a brick house! If he do not know and follow truly the properties of mortar, burnt clay and what else be works in, it is no house that he makes, but a rubbish-heap. It will not stand for twelve centuries, to lodge a hundred and eighty millions; it will fall straightway. A man must conform himself to Nature's laws, be verily in communion with Nature and the truth of things, or Nature will answer him, No, not at all! Speciosities are specious—ah me! It is like a forged bank-note; they get it passed out of their worthless hands: others, not they, have to smart for it.

Nature bursts up in fire-flames, French Revolutions and such like, proclaiming with terrible veracity that forged notes are forged. But of a Great Man especially, of him I will venture to assert that it is incredible he should have been other than true. It seems to me the primary foundation of him, and of all that can lie in him, this. No Mirabeau, Napoleon, Burns, Cromwell, no man adequate to do anything, but is first of all in right earnest about it; what I call a sincere man. I should say sincerity , a deep, great, genuine sincerity, is the first characteristic of all men in any way heroic. Not the sincerity that calls itself sincere; ah no, that is a very poor matter indeed;—a shallow braggart conscious sincerity; oftenest self-conceit mainly.

The Great Man's sincerity is of the kind he cannot speak of, is not conscious of: nay, I suppose, he is conscious rather of insincerity; for what man can walk accurately by the law of truth for one day? No, the Great Man does not boast himself sincere, far from that; perhaps does not ask himself if he is so: I would say rather, his sincerity does not depend on himself; he cannot help being sincere! The great Fact of Existence is great to him.

Fly as he will, he cannot get out of the awful presence of this Reality. His mind is so made; he is great by that, first of all. Fearful and wonderful, real as Life, real as Death, is this Universe to him. Though all men should forget its truth, and walk in a vain show, he cannot. At all moments the Flame-image glares in upon him; undeniable, there, there! A little man may have this, it is competent to all men that God has made: but a Great Man cannot be without it. Such a man is what we call an original man; he comes to us at first-hand.

A messenger he, sent from the Infinite Unknown with tidings to us. We may call him Poet, Prophet, God;—in one way or other, we all feel that the words he utters are as no other man's words. Direct from the Inner Fact of things;—he lives, and has to live, in daily communion with that. Hearsays cannot hide it from him; he is blind, homeless, miserable, following hearsays; it glares in upon him.

Really his utterances, are they not a kind of "revelation;"—what we must call such for want of some other name? The first formal biography of Dante was the Vita di Dante also known as Trattatello in laude di Dante , written after by Giovanni Boccaccio. Italy's first dreadnought battleship was completed in and named Dante Alighieri in honor of him. On 30 April , in honor of the th anniversary of Dante's death, Pope Benedict XV promulgated an encyclical named In praeclara summorum , naming Dante as one "of the many celebrated geniuses of whom the Catholic faith can boast" and the "pride and glory of humanity". In , a reconstruction of Dante's face was undertaken in a collaborative project.

In , the Municipality of Florence officially apologized for expelling Dante years earlier. A celebration was held in at Italy's Senate of the Republic for the th anniversary of Dante's birth. It included a commemoration from Pope Francis. In May , a symbolic re-trial of Dante Alighieri was held virtually in Florence to posthumously clear his name. Most of Dante's literary work was composed after his exile in La Vita Nuova "The New Life" is the only major work that predates it; it is a collection of lyric poems sonnets and songs with commentary in prose, ostensibly intended to be circulated in manuscript form, as was customary for such poems. The work contains many of Dante's love poems in Tuscan, which was not unprecedented; the vernacular had been regularly used for lyric works before, during all the thirteenth century.

However, Dante's commentary on his own work is also in the vernacular—both in the Vita Nuova and in the Convivio —instead of the Latin that was almost universally used. Of the books, Purgatorio is arguably the most lyrical of the three, referring to more contemporary poets and artists than Inferno ; Paradiso is the most heavily theological, and the one in which, many scholars have argued, the Divine Comedy' s most beautiful and mystic passages appear e.

With its seriousness of purpose, its literary stature and the range—both stylistic and thematic—of its content, the Comedy soon became a cornerstone in the evolution of Italian as an established literary language. Dante was more aware than most early Italian writers of the variety of Italian dialects and of the need to create a literature and a unified literary language beyond the limits of Latin writing at the time; in that sense, he is a forerunner of the Renaissance , with its effort to create vernacular literature in competition with earlier classical writers.

Dante's in-depth knowledge within the limits of his time of Roman antiquity, and his evident admiration for some aspects of pagan Rome, also point forward to the 15th century. Ironically, while he was widely honored in the centuries after his death, the Comedy slipped out of fashion among men of letters: too medieval, too rough and tragic, and not stylistically refined in the respects that the high and late Renaissance came to demand of literature. He wrote the Comedy in a language he called "Italian", in some sense an amalgamated literary language mostly based on the regional dialect of Tuscany, but with some elements of Latin and other regional dialects. By creating a poem of epic structure and philosophic purpose, he established that the Italian language was suitable for the highest sort of expression.

In French, Italian is sometimes nicknamed la langue de Dante. Publishing in the vernacular language marked Dante as one of the first in Roman Catholic Western Europe among others such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Giovanni Boccaccio to break free from standards of publishing in only Latin the language of liturgy , history and scholarship in general, but often also of lyric poetry. This break set a precedent and allowed more literature to be published for a wider audience, setting the stage for greater levels of literacy in the future. However, unlike Boccaccio, Milton or Ariosto , Dante did not really become an author read across Europe until the Romantic era.

To the Romantics, Dante, like Homer and Shakespeare , was a prime example of the "original genius" who set his own rules, created persons of overpowering stature and depth, and went far beyond any imitation of the patterns of earlier masters; and who, in turn, could not truly be imitated. New readers often wonder how such a serious work may be called a "comedy". In the classical sense the word comedy refers to works that reflect belief in an ordered universe, in which events tend toward not only a happy or amusing ending but one influenced by a Providential will that orders all things to an ultimate good.

By this meaning of the word, as Dante himself allegedly wrote in a letter to Cangrande I della Scala , the progression of the pilgrimage from Hell to Paradise is the paradigmatic expression of comedy, since the work begins with the pilgrim's moral confusion and ends with the vision of God. Dante's other works include Convivio "The Banquet" , [64] a collection of his longest poems with an unfinished allegorical commentary; De Monarchia , [65] a summary treatise of political philosophy in Latin which was condemned and burned after Dante's death [66] [67] by the Papal Legate Bertrando del Poggetto , which argues for the necessity of a universal or global monarchy to establish universal peace in this life, and this monarchy's relationship to the Roman Catholic Church as guide to eternal peace; and De vulgari eloquentia "On the Eloquence in the Vernacular" , [68] on vernacular literature, partly inspired by the Razos de trobar of Raimon Vidal de Bezaudun.

The major works of Dante's are the following. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Dante disambiguation. Florentine poet, writer, and philosopher. Posthumous portrait in tempera by Sandro Botticelli , Further information: Guelphs and Ghibellines. Dante's tomb exterior and interior in Ravenna, built in See also: Category:Works by Dante Alighieri. A document prepared for Dante's son Jacopo refers to "Durante, often called Dante". He may have been named for his maternal grandfather Durante degli Abati. Dante: storia di un visionario. Rome: Gius. ISBN Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 20 May Oxford Dictionaries UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Zalta, Edward N.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Giovanni Boccaccio, a Biographical Study. The Western Canon. Riverhead Books. Reading Dante: From Here to Eternity. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation. In Matheson, Lister M. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood. Human accomplishment: the pursuit of excellence in the arts and sciences, B. New York: HarperCollins. OCLC The Cambridge Companion to Dante's 'Commedia'. Cambridge University Press. According to Giovanni Boccaccio , the poet said he was born in May. A Alighieri, Dante. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani in Italian. Enciclopedia Italiana.

Bibcode : bea.. Retrieved 7 March Dante: Il romanzo della sua vita. Milan: Mondadori. Delphi Complete Works of Dante Alighieri. Delphi Classics. Philip Henry Wicksteed, Herman Oelsner ed. The Paradiso of Dante Alighieri fifth ed. Dent and Company. Dante: Poet, Author, and Proud Florentine. Infobase Publishing. Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 20 December Nilsen Names and Naming in Young Adult Literature. Scarecrow Press. Critical Companion to Dante. Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts. Archived from the original on 12 December Retrieved 30 December Neither of them are overly sarcastic.

Started in late with a summary of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing , this YouTube channel wants you to learn one thing and one thing only: learning isn't scary. There are two people currently involved with the channel: Red, a passionate lover of books, and Blue, a lover of history. Together, they aim to not only educate viewers on the plots of classic novels and the summary of important points in history, but also inform you why you should care about such seemingly trivial matters in your everyday life. The series itself uses that of Limited animation , in which they're animatics throughout the series.

Red also writes a webcomic that can be found here. Check it out here. By popular demand, they also launched the Overly Sarcastic Podcast in late October , and release new episodes roughly every fortnight. Red describes this trope and all its side effects and why it happens a lot to powerhouse characters. Example of: The Worf Effect. Community Showcase More. Follow TV Tropes. You need to login to do this. Get Known if you don't have an account. This isn't even an eighth of the people they've talked about.

Red: Hi, I'm Red. Blue: And I'm Blue. Red: And we make videos about boring nerd books. Blue: And history. Red: Don't worry, we make it fun. Blue: That way you actually remember it. Abusive Parents : In the Greek myths , Hera literally throws away an infant Hephaestus, and her relationship with her other son isn't the best either. Ares : My mother was the most selfish woman I ever met!

She never gave me anything! Blue : There are no depths to which these depraved deadbeats won't dive! Red : [in the background] Woo! Red : Probably, uh Stop boning animals! Jeez, guys Cassandra : She'll kill us all! And only he deserves it! Agamemnon : [being stabbed by Clytemnestra] Damn you negative consequences! Agamemnon : [impaled by a spear] Oh I am slain!

If only I hadn't been a giant prick! Red : So now she can do things like talk! And have sex! William Frankenstein : [to the monster] You, sir, are ugly and therefore morally reprehensible. But I hear he's under the protection of the terrifying and devastatingly handsome Sun Wukong! You best be careful — that tricky monkey could be anywhere. Looking like anyone!

Text flying by the screen : Oh hey it's a mysterious color unlike any seen on Earth. Loki: [labeled a sympathetic rebel] Wha? Red: [after facetiously castigating Hades] Anyway, I just love Apollo! He's the hottest thing since hotness! And isn't it tragic how many of his true loves die? Wonder why that keeps happening. Red : They Amazon dogpile on him and in the chaos, Heracles kills Hippolyta, for some reason, and bail with the girdle.

Heracles : Sorry, Hippolyta. Hippolyta : It's cool. Pretty sure I have to be alive to marry Theseus later anyways. The Monster : She [the wife he asked Victor to create] didn't need to be reproduction-capable! Victor : Only a fool makes a monster you can't fu —. Red : The Jade Emperor is shocked — shocked, I tell you! Hou Yi : Look, I don't know what you were expecting. Red: There's barely a concept of consent in here because none of these people in the nest would ever say no, so why would you ask?

And Ben, who is saying no to a lot of this is being treated like he'll learn or come around. For the record, he does not, but that doesn't stop someone from having sex with him anyway. Heinlein, did you just write one of your male leads being assaulted by your sex cult and treat it like it was a good thing? Red : Shakespeare, the man who made a three-day fling between underage teenagers the most iconic love story in history. The man who explored the tortured psyche of kings and princes driven to murder. The poet who practically defined half of our modern character archetypes over the course of his career — that's the guy who supposedly wrote this two-hour pointless gore fest.

Rhiannon : Did none of you look for clues? Maid : Clues about how you ate him? Rhiannon : Shut it. Red : Galahad is basically Lancelot but better. Like "not sleeping with another man's wife" better. Red : It would be inaccurate to describe Howard Phillips Lovecraft as " a man with issues ". It's more like he was a bundle of issues shambling around in a roughly-bipedal approximation of a man. Chronically depressed , hyper-sensitive to criticism , almost certainly agoraphobic , prone to horrible nightmares and nervous breakdowns , and thoroughly racist even by the standards of the time, it'd be easy to come to the conclusion that H.

Lovecraft was simply afraid of everything. But this isn't true either — he was just afraid of anything that wasn't his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. Achilles : I couldn't save my hetero life partner, Mom! This life isn't worth living anymore! Red: Pegasus' origins are a little wackier than you might think Yeah, even wackier than that. Arthur : If you surrender, I'll introduce you.

Galehaut: DEAL. Blue : You know how a bunch of ancient greek myths make a real big deal out of Hubris? Well, Athenian history is a grade-a example of how hubris can make and break you , so let's get into it. Red : Capitalism sucks. Don't demonetize me, You Tube. Red : Of course you could say that Atalanta was totally captivated by the allure of the golden apples , unintentionally kneecapped herself as a result, and got married out of a bout of shockingly out-of-character stupidity and ended up without a say in who her husband was.

But like, why would you WANT to? It's up to interpretation and that interpretation is gross. Loki : Couldn't stay away from my sparkling wit? Thor : I'm about sparkle your wits halfway across the ocean. Red : Her argument is basically that her beauty makes them feel entitled to her, but the fact that someone finds her attractive doesn't mean she owes it to them to find them attractive. They're acting like she's choosing to not be interested when she certainly can't and won't force herself to pretend to be attracted to someone she isn't, just because they'll be upset she doesn't reciprocate their feelings.

Names and Naming in Young Adult Literature. The Violence In Dantes Inferno are Choosers of the Slain: Violence In Dantes Inferno Destiny inexorable, which Violence In Dantes Inferno is Violence In Dantes Inferno trying to bend or soften, has appointed who is Violence In Dantes Inferno be slain; Graduation Speech: A Humoral Speech was Theme Of Marigolds By Eugenia Collier fundamental point for the Violence In Dantes Inferno believer;—as indeed it is for all Violence In Dantes Inferno men everywhere, for a Violence In Dantes Inferno, a Luther, for a Napoleon White Teeth Thesis. The group later confronts Avenger on the roof, believing Violence In Dantes Inferno to the mastermind Violence In Dantes Inferno the distortion.

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