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Dante Alighieri Quotes

40 of the best book quotes from Dante Alighieri
01
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“Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost. Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say What was this forest savage, rough, and stern, Which in the very thought renews the fear. So bitter is it, death is little more; But of the good to treat, which there I found, Speak will I of the other things I saw there.”
Dante Alighieri
author
Inferno
book
Dante
character
journeys
concept
02
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“I made response to him with bashful forehead. ‘Oh, of the other poets honor and light, Avail me the long study and great love That have impelled me to explore thy volume! Thou art my master, and my author thou, Thou art alone the one from whom I took The beautiful style that has done honor to me.‘”
Poets
person
Dante
Virgil
characters
03
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″‘…I think and judge it for the best Thou follow me, and I will be thy guide, And lead thee hence through the eternal place, Where thou shalt here the desperate lamentations, Shalt see the ancient spirits disconsolate, Who cry out each one for the second death…‘”
Virgil
character
guides
concept
04
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“They turned to me with signs of salutation, And on beholding this, my Master smiled; And more of honor still, much more, they did me, In that they made me one of their own band; So that the sixth was I, ‘mid so much wit.”
Poets
person
Dante
Virgil
characters
05
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“Then sorrowed I, and sorrow now again, When I direct my mind to what I saw, And more my genius curb than I am wont, That it may run not unless virtue guide it…”
06
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“My Leader on a sudden seized me up, Even as a mother who by noise is wakened, And close beside her sees the enkindled flames, Who takes her son, and flies, and does not stop, Having more care of him than of herself…”
07
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″‘The anguish of the people Who are below here in my face depicts That pity which for terror thou has taken.‘”
Virgil
character
fear
pity
hell
concepts
08
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“Then I uprose, showing myself provided Better with breath than I did feel myself, And said: ‘Go on, for I am strong and bold.‘”
Dante
character
09
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“How frozen I became and powerless then, Ask it not, reader, for I write it not, Because all language would be insufficient. I did not die, and I alive remained not. Think for thyself now, hast though ought of wit, What I became, being of both deprived.”
Dante
character
devil
concept
10
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“THROUGH ME THE WAY INTO THE SUFFERING CITY, THROUGH ME THE WAY TO THE ETERNAL PAIN, THROUGH ME THE WAY THAT RUNS AMONG THE LOST. JUSTICE URGED ON MY HIGH ARTIFICER; MY MAKER WAS DIVINE AUTHORITY, THE HIGHEST WISDOM, AND THE PRIMAL LOVE. BEFORE ME NOTHING BUT ETERNAL THINGS ABANDON EVERY HOPE, WHO ENTER HERE. These words – their aspect was obscure – I read inscribed above a gateway”
God
person
Dante
character
love
hell
concepts
11
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″‘Now I will have thee know, the other time I here descended to the nether Hell, This precipice had not yet fallen down.‘”
Virgil
character
hell
concept
12
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″‘Art thou, too, of the other fools? Here pity lives when it is wholly dead; Who is a greater reprobate than he Who feels compassion at the doom divine?‘”
Dante
Virgil
characters
sin
pity
punishment
concepts
13
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″‘Now fraud, that eats away at every conscience, is practice by a man against another who trust in him, or one who has no trust. This latter way seems only to cut off the bond of love that nature forges; thus, nestled within the second circle are: hypocrisy and flattery, sorcerers, and falsifiers, simony, and theft, and barrators and panders and like trash. But in the former way of fraud, not only the love that nature forges is forgotten, but added love that builds a special trust; thus, in the tightest circle, where there is the universe’s center, seat of Dis, all traitors are consumed eternally.‘”
14
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″‘An ill way thou goest!‘”
Icarus
character
15
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“We came along from one bridge to another, talking of things my Comedy is not concerned to sing.”
16
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“Without hope we live in desire.”
Virgil
character
hoping
hell
concepts
17
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“Have you forgotten, then, the words with which your Ethics treats of those three dispositions that strike at Heaven’s will: incontinence and malice and mad bestiality?”
Virgil
character
sin
ethics
concepts
18
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“…when I faced that restless beast, which, even as she stalked me, step by step had thrust me back to where the sun is speechless.”
Dante
character
fear
concept
19
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“Your art would follow nature, just as a pupil imitates his master; ... your art is almost God’s grandchild.”
God
person
Virgil
character
20
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“Like someone who has imperfect vision, we see things, which are remote from us; so much light the Supreme Ruler still gives to us; when they draw nigh, or are, our intellect is altogether void; and except what others bring us, we know nothing of your human state.”
21
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“There above How many now hold themselves mighty kings Who here like swine shall wallow in the mire, Leaving behind them horrible dispraise!”
22
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“This miserable fate Suffer the wretched souls of those, who liv’d Without or praise or blame, with that ill band Of angels mix’d, who nor rebellious prov’d Nor yet were true to God, but for themselves Were only.”
23
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“Thy soul is by vile fear assail’d, which oft So overcasts a man, that he recoils From noblest resolution, like a beast At some false semblance in the twilight gloom.”
24
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“As in large troops And multitudinous, when winter reigns, The starlings on their wings are borne abroad; So bears the tyrannous gust those evil souls. On this side and on that, above, below, It drives them: hope of rest to solace them Is none, nor e’en of milder pang.”
25
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“Let not thy fear Harm thee, for power in him, be sure, is none To hinder down this rock thy safe descent.”
26
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“The book and writer both Were love’s purveyors.”
27
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“IN the midway of this our mortal life, I found me in a gloomy wood, astray.”
28
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“These of death No hope may entertain: and their blind life So meanly passes, that all other lots They envy. Fame of them the world hath none, Nor suffers; mercy and justice scorn them both. Speak not of them, but look, and pass them by.”
29
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“Heaven’s justice goads them on, that fear Is turn’d into desire.”
30
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“Av’rice, envy, pride, Three fatal sparks, have set the hearts of all On fire.”
31
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“And art thou then that Virgil, that well-spring, From which such copious floods of eloquence Have issued?”
32
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“No greater grief than to remember days Of joy, when mis’ry is at hand!”
33
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“The carnal sinners are condemn’d, in whom Reason by lust is sway’d.”
34
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“Oh, how long Me seems it, ere the promis’d help arrive!”
35
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“I, if on this voyage then I venture, fear it will in folly end.”
36
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“Though ne’er to true perfection may arrive This race accurs’d, yet nearer then than now They shall approach it.”
37
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“THROUGH me you pass into the city of woe: Through me you pass into eternal pain: Through me among the people lost for aye. Justice the founder of my fabric mov’d: To rear me was the task of power divine, Supremest wisdom, and primeval love. Before me things create were none, save things Eternal, and eternal I endure. All hope abandon ye who enter here.”
38
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“Eternal fire, That inward burns, shows them with ruddy flame Illum’d.”
39
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“Not all the gold, that is beneath the moon, Or ever hath been, of these toil-worn souls Might purchase rest for one.”
40
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“Assist him. So to me will comfort spring.”

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