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Here’s another quotation that won’t make it into the paper, but I wanted to share:
“But Dante’s Vergil, particularly in the Inferno, is far more than a prophetic author and exemplary guide. He is also a tragic figure whose intellectual, emotional and psychological complexity accounts for much of the dramatic energy in Dante’s poem. After all, most of the action of the journey through Hell involves Vergil in some way, usually through his relationship to the pilgrim, himself a creation of the poet. Although Vergil appears most often as a wise guide and a source of knowledge for the pilgrim, there are crucial moments when Dante the poet seems to undermine Vergil’s authority and credibility in order to enrich the aesthetic and moral structure of his poetic universe.”
Guy P. Raffa, “Dante’s Beloved Yet Damned Virgil” in Dante Aligheri, Inferno: The Indiana Critical Edition. ed. and trans., Mark Musa. (Indianapolis, Ind.: Indiana UP, 1995), 266-285. 266.