Dante Map of Italy: Source: Hensman, Mary. Cornell Fiske Dante Collection.
We hope you enjoyed the first episode of Red Notice! We are currently in pre-production for our next episode based on Canto II and thought you might want to check out the original text first.
Here's an excerpt from a great essay called "The Physical Environment and Structure of Dante's Inferno as Influenced by Virgil's Aeneid" by Nicolas Rapold, part of the ILTweb Digital Dante Project:
“A gradual change in the lighting of his immediate environment accompanies Dante's early descent into Hell. Darkness need not always have a pejorative sense, and Dante's characterization of earthly night as liberator reflects an early, positive look at darkness: "The day was now departing; the dark air/released the living beings of the earth from work and weariness..." (Inf. II, 1-3). Yet, by the end of the canto, probably because of its contrast with Virgil's uplifting speech about Beatrice, night has already gained a crippling force, shown in the simile Dante the poet uses to compare Dante the pilgrim to "little flowers...[that] the chill of night/has bent and huddled..." (Inf. II, 127). Although used to describe Dante's exhausted cowardice, the simile is notable for the objective effect of night, the sort of darkness Dante will encounter in Hell, on living forms, like Dante, particularly since Dante will be a living being among lost souls.”
Click here to read the rest of the essay.