Essay On Chaucer And Dante On Sin
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Dante and Chaucer wrote works of art, which can be considered as “journey” literature, where the metaphor lies on the life, physical and spiritual journeys that the characters in the poems embark on.
Dante and Chaucer both showcased real people in their works, but they were successful in hiding their identities and fictionalizing their characters to save them from the social or religious repercussions that so inflicted people those days. For example, Dante mentioned past and present sinners in his Hell, while Chaucer parodied the shallowness of virtue and hypocrisy of people who were on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. Furthermore, both authors used the technique known today as “roman a clef” for satirical commentary while saving them from legal repercussions.
While both Chaucer and Dante’s works talked about sin and punishment, it also gives even the gravest of the sinners the hope that they will be given retribution and penance.
As to their differences, the most important emphasis is given on the seriousness of the religious tone: Dante was serious while Chaucer was kind of mocking). Dante wrote a divine comedy while Chaucer drew a human comedy. While Dante fulminated sin and corruption in his work, Chaucer laughingly portrayed human weakness. In Divine Comedy, Dante tells how people are classified according to their vices in hell or purgatory, or how they go to heaven because of their virtues. Chaucer in Canterbury Tales, meanwhile, mocks that all of them are joined together on earth. Divine Comedy emphasizes on sinners on the state of final judgment, while Canterbury Tales focuses on earthly trial.
Another stark contrast is how the authors started their work. Dante started in the end and analyzed how the character ended up in hell, depicting flashbacks that leading to the events. Chaucer, meanwhile, started from the beginning, narrating human events and letting the reader and the characters realize the conclusion.
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