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What is the significance of Virgils relationship with DanteThe Inferno is an epic poem by Dante Alighieri one of the greatest poets in the history of western literature In it he uses his mastery of language to blend elements of classical literature with a more contemporary Catholic viewpoint Virgil the Roman poet is Dantes guide on this journey through the underworld He helps to represent the classical elements of the poem His relationship with the character of Dante in the poem is wide-ranging in importance and symbolism He is a figure of reason and protectionDante borrows liberally from Virgil in writing The Inferno Much of the work resembles the underworld created in Virgils Aeneid Thus Virgil is an obvious choice for a guide in the underworld Having traversed the territory before Virgil serves as a figure of knowledge and safety to Dante who is at times uncertain and timid about traversing such a treacherous terrain For example in Canto II Dante hesitates at the Vestibule that marks the entrance to hell It is only through the reassurance of Virgils words that he finds fortitude Thy words have moved my heart to its first purpose My guide My Lord My Master Now lead onAt numerous other points also Virgil shows his authority by dealing with deterrences that occur during their journey As in Canto III when the ferryman Charon refuses Dante passage since he is a living man Virgil forces Charon to grant them passage Charon bite back your spleenThis has been willed where what is willed must beand is not yours to ask what it may meanVirgils influence however is limited His power is associated with the power of reason and this power is limited in Dantes hell At the very beginning Virgil warns Dante of this He says that at the end of the journey through hell a worthier spirit shall be sent to guide you Virgil cannot accompany Dante on into heaven because
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