Dante’s Inferno

According to his guide, Virgil (in the
Aeneid)Ulysses and the Greek army stormed Troy
and destroyed everything. A few survivors,
led by Aeneus, sailed away and finally landed
in Italy (that was their fate). And with that
fate they took over Italy, founded the Roman
Empire which in turn becames into the states of
Italy. Dante and Virgil were upset at the attack
on Troy and considered the warfare brutal, so
placing Ulysses in Hell in an eternal fire is
a fitting punishment for his Trojan Horse design
which collapsed their ancestors home of Troy.
It is an ethnocentric way to demean the Greeks
Ulysses discusses his son, father, and wife, and that the longing he had to gain the experience of the world and of the vices and the worth of men. So he left those he loved and deserted them to sail away with those he knew would never desert him. After gaining this experience of the world (he lists off spain, morocco, both shores, sardinia, and “the other islands the sea bathes”, thus he visited everything worldly. He came to the end of the world, was “old and slow,” at Hercules’ boundary stones. Everyone heeds these stones and never goes past. He had travelled everywhere, and this was the only conquest left. He wanted to best evryone.

With a slick speech, a fiery speech he makes to his comrades, he convinces them all not to desert him, but to imagine they are better than other men (118) and that they don’t deserve to live their lives as brutes (119) but to be followers of “worth and knowledge.” His speech was so compelling, that when he was finished, they would have gone even if he had not.
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