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Word Count: 779
In Dantes Inferno and Purgatorio the reader finds recurrent images of blindness used as the punishment of the contrapasso Whether it is Calvacante dei Calvacanti struggling to see what happened to his son the diviners in Hell condemned to walk backwards or the blind Sapia in the second terrace of Purgatorio the contrapasso of these characters does not allow them to see Such a punishment is caused because at any given moment of their lives these characters have denied God-the light that guides human beings Blindness is the punishment that afflicts Farinata and Calvacante dei Calvacante in Canto X of Inferno These two enemies who have been condemned to spend the rest of eternity together in a blind prisonAlighieri 60 are not allowed to see the fate of those alive Calvacante for example wonders if his son still lives 67-69 Farinata on the other hand cannot discern why the Florentines are so cruel against my kin in all their decrees 83-84 The explanation for this blindness to earthly events is provided by Farinata He says that they can see only those things that are remote from them 102-future events--but not the present of the human state 105 Such punishment springs in the contrapasso because both Calvacante and Farinata have adopted in their earthly life philosophies that deny God According to Robert M Durling these two characters represent the Epicureans and the Stoics philosophers of human self-sufficiency 141 Durling sees Calvacanti as subject to every wind of fleshy impulse and Epicurean according to the traditional view 141 Farinata on the other hand is a Stoic because he is utterly in command of himself and confident in his virtus animi 141 Whether Durlings analysis is correct or not it classifies Calvacante and Farinata as characters who have denied God As Virgil explains it these sinners are in the Sixth Circle because all those who say the soul dies with the body Alighieri 15
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