Divine Comedy Essay

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In the following excerpt, Ferrante notes the relationship between human speech and sin in the Inferno. She notes in particular how the power of speech is distorted or entirely taken from some of the sinners who are suffering in Hell.

In the De vulgari eloquentia, Dante reveals the high importance he attaches to human speech—it is the gift which distinguishes man from other creatures. Angels, with direct intuition, and animals, with natural instinct, have no use for it. Only man needs words to reveal his thoughts to others because only man has perceptions which differ from his fellow's and which, taken together, may add up to wisdom. By nature a social animal, man must draw on this wisdom in order to live in society. To have a workable government, he must be able to communicate effectively, hence speech is his most important tool.

Speech is a...

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This section contains 2,475 words
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Buy the Divine Comedy Study Guide
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Divine Comedy from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.