Dante’s Inferno: Jason
Jason and the Argonauts, a hero of Greek mythology, punished for the sins of a seducer in the eighth circle of hell. He is to march for all eternity and be whipped by demons supervising himself and the other sinner in Dante’s Inferno. One might ask is this punishment too severe, whether it’s for the seduction and abandonment of two women, or even poetic justice for his sins.
Jason of Iolcus in Thessaly, the son of the former king of Iolcus, Aeson, was one of the heroes taught by the centaur Chiron. As a young man Jason went to the court of his uncle Pelias to reclaim the throne his father had given his uncle with the condition that ...view middle of the document...
There are several different interpretations as to how Medea dealt with her and Jason’s children. She most likely either killed them in frustration or the blame was laid upon her. There are also several versions of Jason’s death, some say murder by Medea, a beam fell on him from the Argo while he slept, or he committed suicide because of the death of his children and the shame he felt.
I do believe that Dante is too severe in his placement of Jason in Hell, at the very least he is unfair. From Dante's perspective, crimes of passion or desire are the least abhorrent and consequently deserve minimal punishment in comparison to what he believes are the more serious offenses. These sinners, the carnal, the gluttonous, the hoarders and wasters, along with the wrathful and sullen fall just below the virtuous pagans in Dante's hell. In some way, they represent a loss of self control, of reason gone amiss, as each plunges into a personal world of self indulgence. To Dante, those that succumb to the pleasures of the 'will' deserve an eternity less painful than those who fall into emotional or psychological despair. Yet, like the sins that constitute placement deeper in the bowels of Hell, all represent a punishment equal to or reflective of the sin as it existed in life. In Dante's view a circle of sin consists of acts of fraud. He classifies these sinners as seducers and panderers, flatterers, simoniacs, fortune tellers, grafters, hypocrites, thieves, evil counselors, sowers of discord, and counterfeiters or falsifiers. These are the souls who in life betrayed the confidence of another. In Dante's conception of Hell, it seems, each soul is ultimately responsible for his own placement in Hell based upon his or her willful actions in life....