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Quotes in Dante's Inferno

Quotes Examples in Dante's Inferno:

Canto 1

1

"My senses down, when the true path I left,..."   (Canto 1)

Dante personalizes the spiritual journey of The Inferno by presenting himself as the first-person protagonist. He is a middle-aged wanderer who lost his way and now finds himself on the wrong path—"Gone from the path direct"—in the dark forest. He doesn't remember how he lost his way, only that he was sleepy and unintentionally strayed from "the true path."

"All hope abandon ye who enter here..."   (Canto 3)

This is undoubtedly the most quoted line in the Inferno and among the most well-known line in medieval literature. Despite his sense of being protected, Dante is perturbed by the message.

"For these defects, And for no other evil, we are lost; "Only so far afflicted, that we live Desiring without hope."..."   (Canto 4)

Virgil explains that, like himself, the people damned to spend eternity in Limbo were not baptized—they either lived before the Gospel or died before their baptisms could take place. None of the people in Limbo are particularly evil; however, they did not achieve the redemption required to enter heaven.

""Fear not: for of our passage none Hath power to disappoint us, by such high Authority permitted. ..."   (Canto 8)

Evil guardian spirits refuse to let Virgil accompany Dante into the City of Dis, where Satan lives. They point out that Virgil is destined to remain in Limbo for the time being because he brought a living human into Hell. Therefore, they argue, Dante should have to continue alone. Dante is terrified and insists that if he and Virgil cannot proceed together, they should both turn back. Virgil assures him that though the guardian spirits forbid their entrance, they have been given permission by a higher "authority" and are thus qualified to enter.

"To hear Such wrangling is a joy for vulgar minds."..."   (Canto 30)

Virgil commands Dante to ignore Sinon's and Adam's arguing, explaining that a man like Dante (who does not have a "vulgar mind") has no business finding joy in "such wrangling." Virgil chastises Dante for willful disobedience. Dante repents and quickly earns Virgil's forgiveness.

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