Dante, Canto II: A Canto of Contrasts

In many ways, the second canto (chapter) of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” is one of contrasts: light versus dark, slavery versus freedom, and courage versus fear.

Toward the end of the first canto, Dante meets Virgil, who tells him the only way out of his predicament is to journey through the underworld. This second canto begins as


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