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Dante Alighieri Essay

592 words - 3 pages

Dante Alighieri- Inferno
Dante the narrator of Dante Alighieri –Inferno gives the reader a show of the journey through hell. His goal is to show that the present affects the future. As he explains, the punishments each is dependent on the path taken while still living. He describes each sin’s punishment in Inferno as contrapasso. Dante gives an example of the fortune tellers whose punishment is to walk forward with their heads back ward so that they do not see forward. This is so because while alive they tried to look forward.
Dante’s journey starts on a Good Friday a day which Christians view as holy, and they celebrate the crucifixion of their savior Jesus Christ. He could have easily chosen any day, but he focuses on bringing out the meaning intended in the title which he describes as comedy. Comedy here ...view middle of the document...

Dante thus classified the sins as they existed during his time.
Philosophers were sinless but non believers were in limbo, this is specific placement. While alive their sin was curiosity which lead to their doubts about God making them the brightest men alive, and they resided in a castle in limbo. The lustful had their souls thrown back and forth by the terrible winds of a violent storm. This is symbolic of the way lust blows one back and forth without reasoning. The glutton’s punishment was by overindulgence but not only in food but in other forms of addiction.
The first three circles of hell elaborate the judgment for each sin is specific. Each circle symbolizes punishment for sins committed while on earth, and all who did not make it in heaven ended up in hell and missed paradise. Thus, once in hell there is no redemption. Hell provides a place for every sin, and there is no redemption for that. Even the ones who committed no sin but failed to believe had a place in hell in one of the nine circles.
Dante in his poem uses historical figures including, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to explain his intentions. This could be understood to mean that all humans were under observation, and a time would come for people to answer for all they do. Dante in his journey encounters Mohammed in Hell and, other religious leaders. Pope Boniface VIII and Pope Clement V who committed the sin of simony.
Inclusion of religious leaders in this poem and their positions in hell show that Dante has doubts as to the idea of divine beings on earth. Dante takes us through a journey in his mind, and his belief in happiness in life. In comparing this poem with Christianity as Dante expects us to believe, Christianity does not necessarily speak of punishment for the sins committed on earth. The poem is descriptive touching all aspects of life, the evil and good committed by the human kind.

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