Paradise I

Beauty and Ascent

To rise is the new way.  To rise to the new Way is Dante’s aim.  Whereas in purgatory he struggled to climb the mountain of “negative” altitude (negative—based off of the diagram in class with this mountain seemingly appearing downward, as it was built on the “bottom”—or opposite-heaven—of the spherical earth), he now ascends with ease, “In the instant of an arrow’s flight…[I] saw I’d reached a place that turned my sight / toward something to behold in awe” (15), “Risen—and as an arrowhead will hit / the mark before the cord has ceased to hum, / so did we speed into the second realm” (51), and finally, “I hadn’t sensed the climb” (75).  This final citation, (75), goes on, “…but when I saw / how much more lovely Beatrice became, / easily I believed we were within.”  Allegorically, this relates to the earthly phenomenon of the oblivious feeling one gets during times of great love and bliss.  An example is the unawareness of the burden of a difficult climb of a mountain and the relieved and revealing feeling, given by an incredible view that says, “Behold your reward—this beautiful sight before you.”

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