The Inferno of Dante

Tracing the relationship of Dante and Virgil based on Robert Pinsky’s translation, The Inferno of Dante.

This paper examines the relationship between Dante and Virgil as depicted in Pinsky’s translation. Their relationship throughout poem is filled with symbolism. The epic poem is about Dante who journeys through the underworld and Virgil, the Roman poet, serves as his guide. The paper shows how Virgil symbolizes knowledge and safety to Dante, who is at times uncertain and timid about traversing such treacherous terrain.
“Robert Pinsky is a distinguished poet and translator of “The Inferno of Dante” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994). The “Inferno” — which is the first part of Dante’s Divina Commedia remains a popular and compelling poem for modern readers; there have been at least fifty English versions of the `Inferno` in this century alone. Of course, any translator must rely on previous translations and commentators in undertaking such an ambitious task, and Pinsky has said that he depended largely on Charles Singleton’s scholarly, painstakingly literal prose translation (1970), and on the best-known nineteenth-century American verse translation, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1867). ”

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