"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Mandelbaum Vs Longfellow
Mandelbaum Vs. Longfellow
After carefully reading both the Longfellow and Mandelbaum versions of Canto
I’ve decided that I favor the Mandelbaum version because it is clearer and
understand, which allows the reader to absorb and relate to it; and also the
fact that it isn’t
as direct and “to the point” as the Longfellow version makes it more
In the Longfellow version, a storm is described, “The infernal hurricane”
opposed to the Mandelbaum version that describes it as “The hellish
both versions on Canto V were very descriptive, the vocabulary in the
version was more at the highschool level, therefore making it clearer and
easier for the
reader to understand. Also, the Longfellow version is older, using words that
common now. When Dante speaks about Minos, the judge of who is cast down to
why, he says in the Mandelbaum version, “ There dreadful Minos stands”
but in the
Longfellow version, it is worded as, “There standeth Minos”. By replacing
the older word
“standeth” that is not commonly used in modern times with “stands”,
one can more easily
comprehend and relate to the story. The Mandelbaum version uses simple,
vocabulary, which is one reason why I chose it as my favorite.
At first, after skimming through both versions of my Canto, I had trouble
many strong differences between the two. But as I went on to reading through
carefully, I decided to read a small section of each version and summarize
them at the end.
By doing this, I found that my summary of the Mandelbaum version was more
and I found myself re-reading the Longfellow version until I clearly
understood what it
was about. I drew the conclusion that the Mandelbaum version was easier to
because it is clearer.
Another fact about the Mandelbaum version that helped me make my decision was
that it is easy to relate with. “I reached a place where every light is
muted”. After reading
this beginning of a stanza, one gets the feeling of a dark, gloomy, quiet
area. It made me
think of a personal experience of mine when I was hiking in the woods and the
down, causing a dark and gloomy ambiance. From this, I concluded that this
version sets a
definite mood, which makes relating to the story simple. On the other hand,
Longfellow version failed to describe the setting. “I came into a place
muted of light” gets
the point across, but because of the lack of intense description, I couldn’t
relate it to my
personal experiences as easily as I could when reading the Mandelbaum
A story wouldn’t be a story if it wasn’t interesting. I found that the
version of my Canto describes the setting so vividly that, even though it’s
not as “to the
point” as the Longfellow version, it adds thrill to the story. For example,
Canto V opens
to Dante describing his descent down from the first to second circle of hell,
Mandelbaum version reads, “So I descended from the first enclosure down to
great circle” as opposed to the Longfellow version that describes his
descent as, “Thus I
descended from the first circle to the second”. It is clear that the
Mandelbaum version is
more interesting because of the more illustrative description of Dante’s
descent, which is
yet another reason why I chose this version as my favorite.
The world isn’t perfect, and either is the Mandelbaum version of Canto V.
Although it is easier to read, I still managed to stumble onto some vague
passages that I
had trouble understanding. For example, Dante says in Mandelbaum, “I
reached a place
where every light is muted, which bellows like the sea beneath a tempest”.
what is meant by “beneath a tempest” I went on to read the Longfellow
version. “I came
to a place muted of light, which bellows as the sea does in a tempest”.
Then it became
clear that Dante was describing how the sea bellows in a storm. By this, I
the vague parts of the Mandelbaum version are accented by the Longfellow
In conclusion, I favor the Mandelbaum version because it uses easier and more
modern vocabulary, its clarity makes it easier to remember, one can better
relate to it, and
it is more interesting because of its illustrative descriptions. Although,
nothing is perfect
which is why I added the fact that certain vague parts in the Mandelbaum
version of my
Canto are made clear after reading the Longfellow version. All in all,
despite some quirks I
have about the Mandelbaum version, it is by far my favorite.
View Full Essay
Afterlife, Divine Comedy, Italy, Virgil, Literature, Inferno, Mandelbaum, Italian literature, Italian poetry
More Free Essays Like This