on our life’s journey, I found myself
In dark woods, the right road lost.
The use of such potent words as “journey” and “right road” signifies
the religious aspect of Dante’s impending adventure and quickly
notifies us that we are leaving the realm of the literal. Likewise,
the image of being lost in “dark woods” sets up a clear dichotomy
between the unenlightened ignorance involved in a lack of faith
in God and the clear radiance provided by God’s love. The simple
contrast between the “dark woods,” which embody Dante’s fear, and
the “right road,” which embodies Dante’s confidence in God, makes
his challenge clear, he sets out to look for God in a sinful world.
His reference to “our life” contributes to the allegorical level
of Inferno, the journey upon which Dante is embarking is
not solely his but rather that of every human being. He describes his
journey in only the vaguest of terms, with no mention of where he
is coming from or where he is heading, because he believes that this
journey is one that every individual undertakes so as to understand
his or her sins and find his or her peace with God.