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Essay on Dante's Inferno and Saint Augstine's Confessions

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“There must be contrast before there can be comprehension, we can realize good only through the ministry of evil (122 Blow).” Dante’s Inferno and Saint Augustine’s Confessions are both like the Bible, they both have some good advice but they are nothing more than someone’s vision. Augustine is able to give the reader a close experience of his journey through life, just as Dante carries the reader with him through his journey through hell. Both of these works paint a vivid picture of the expeditions of man through his search for a deeper spiritual connection. They make their audience aware of the sin in their lives as well as the others they surround themselves with. Themes common from both of these authors are punishment of sin, and the search of self.
“To know how hard the wind is blowing, one must set sail against the wind, to measure the force of a stream, one must swim against its current (121 Blow).” In The Inferno’s first person narrative Dante is lost in a journey, he ventures off the path and gets lost in the dark woods, and he is off on a journey to find himself. Dante is given a guide, Virgil; Virgil takes Dante on a tour of hell, all nine circles of Hell. Dante and Virgil progressed smoothly until they get to the sixth circle. Virgil tries to open the gate but fails, so they were forced to wait on an angel to force the gates open. From the seventh circle to the end is finally where Dante gets to see the more aggressive sinners. As they proceed through all the stages Dante is scared and frightened. As they get deeper and deeper into the fiery pits of Hell Dante develops a sense of compassion and he speaks of the sinners he encounters with sorrow and pity. When he hears the names of some of the sinners he feels compelle...


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...have different experiences with sin and their path to Heaven, they share similar overall goals in their excursions. Both of these thought provoking works can open one’s mind as to what may lead to a path towards heaven. They equally describe conversion as a journey and they provide answers through the journey of their characters for those that pursue them. Augustine and Dante both re-create a conversion experience and make the readers weary of sin in their lives and in the lives of those around them. Accumulation of wealth, life achievements and greediness could be sins if they lead someone to lead proud lives and therefore should be shunned. Through their dramatic first-person narratives both Dante’s Inferno and Augustine’s Confessions are successful in getting their point across and help to clear doubts that someone may have in the pursuit of heavenly grace.



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