The inferno takes the reader through Dante’s haunting journey in hell. On this journey Dante is guided by Virgil through nine circles that make up hell. Hell is shaped like a tunnel, and the further down it descends the worse the punishment is in each circle. Sinners are placed in the circles according to their sins. The more offensive the nature of the sin, the worse the punishment is, and the further down the tunnel is where the circle is placed. Dante illustrates his concerns and frustrations with the morality of his fellow countrymen and Christians by creating a specific circle and punishment for each type of sinner. He also shows his own personal belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Allusions enhance works by creating an artful flow, as Viglionese states “Allusions set up resonances between texts. These resonances create interrelationships of meaning and automatically engender a sense of the literary tradition and its quality of continuity…” Viglionese, Paschal C.. “Internal Allusion and Symmetry at the Mid-point of Dante 's Commedia”. Italica 63.3 (1986): 237–249. Web... Throughout his work he includes numerous political allusions to warn against corruption, and betrayal. He also uses religious allusions to emphasize the high importance of the Christian faith. Through usage of explicit imagery and allusions he creates a very vivid warning for readers to identify with the tormented souls in hell, and therefore turn away from their sinful nature and stay on the good path.
The theme of faith is strongly present from the very beginning of the poem. Virgil is used as Dante’s symbol of human reason which is clearly very important for Dante. Yet he makes it clear that human reason ...
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...erve to make a strong impact on readers so that they don’t easily forget the torment that such sinners suffer.
Through these and many other allusions found throughout Dante’s Inferno the reader witnesses the strong sentiments Dante has towards those who sin against God, as well as those who commit acts of betrayal. By using such allusion Dante allows the reader to engage more easily because of the continuity created in using such literary device. Through the allusions the constant theme of God’s just being the ultimate truth and Jesus is the only way to salvation is clearly visible.
Ciardi, John. The Inferno;. New York: Signet Classics, 2001. Print.
J. H. Whitfield. The Modern Language Review 88.1 (1993): 215–217. Web...
Viglionese, Paschal C.. “Internal Allusion and Symmetry at the Mid-point of Dante 's Commedia”. Italica 63.3 (1986): 237–249. Web...
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