An initial canto , serving as an introduction to the poem and generally considered to be part of the first cantica, brings the total number of cantos to It is generally accepted, however, that the first two cantos serve as a unitary prologue to the entire epic, and that the opening two cantos of each cantica serve as prologues to each of the three cantiche. Additionally, the verse scheme used, terza rima , is hendecasyllabic lines of eleven syllables , with the lines composing tercets according to the rhyme scheme aba, bcb, cdc, ded, Written in the first person, the poem tells of Dante’s journey through the three realms of the dead, lasting from the night before Good Friday to the Wednesday after Easter in the spring of Beatrice was a Florentine woman whom he had met in childhood and admired from afar in the mode of the then-fashionable courtly love tradition, which is highlighted in Dante’s earlier work La Vita Nuova. Within each group of 9, 7 elements correspond to a specific moral scheme, subdivided into three subcategories, while 2 others of greater particularity are added to total nine. For example, the seven deadly sins of the Catholic Church that are cleansed in Purgatory are joined by special realms for the Late repentant and the excommunicated by the church. The core seven sins within Purgatory correspond to a moral scheme of love perverted, subdivided into three groups corresponding to excessive love Lust , Gluttony , Greed , deficient love Sloth , and malicious love Wrath , Envy , Pride. This exile, which lasted the rest of Dante’s life, shows its influence in many parts of the Comedy, from prophecies of Dante’s exile to Dante’s views of politics, to the eternal damnation of some of his opponents.
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