The Significance of Virgil in the Inferno

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Ryan Henson Mind 180 Essay #2 What is the significance of Virgilís relationship with Dante? The Inferno is an epic poem by Dante Alighieri, one of the greatest poets in the history of western literature. In it, he uses his mastery of language to blend elements of classical literature with a more contemporary Catholic viewpoint. Virgil, the Roman poet, is Danteís guide on this journey through the underworld. He helps to represent the classical elements …

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…father figure didnít seek in his life, is granted passage into a higher realm. He thus usurps the power of Virgil. So, Virgil represents in The Inferno the accomplishments of reason and art in the classical world. He also symbolizes their shortcomings, the fact that their view of life was incomplete. Life to Dante can only be complete for one who seeks, with reason and logic as his tools, knowledge of the Higher Power.