The poem begins with Dante wandering through the woods pondering the rights and wrongs of life. While walking through the woods Dante becomes threatened by creatures blocking his path, but then a dead poet, he admires named Virgil comes to rescue him. Dante wants to get to the other side of the hill and Virgil will help him, but first they have to go through hell. Therefore, when Virgil arrives, he begins to take Dante through the woods to begin his guided tour of hell. When the two of them approach the first circle of hell Dante is afraid and passes out in fear (as he will continue to do throughout the story) because on the gate of hell it states, “ABANDON ALL HOPE, YOU WHO ENTER HERE” and this was too terrifying for him. After, he awakes and is in the first circle of hell he learns that it is a place for unbaptized souls and people who lived before Christianity. These people could not be “proper” christians so they ended up here. Virgil resides in the first circle of hell along with other writers such as Homer. The second circle of hell consists of lustful sinners. This circle had greater punishment than the first and smaller than the first. Also, here is where Minos stands in front of the sinners and decides which circle of hell each goes to based on one’s sins. Minos realizes Dante is alive and warns him not to come here, like many of the demons in each circle will do. In thi...
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...then could also lead to God not being happy with mankind in the middle ages. From this perspective the author has created a very deep paradox between establishing human greatness versus Godly greatness. I’m not sure what Dante the author was alluding to when naming all the prominent figures in hell, but clearly all of their followers should be afraid after reading this book.
After reading this book I am surprised it isn’t a banned book because it paints the picture of a god to be greatly fearful of. Writing about hell in such detail makes me feel like God must have had a tortured mind to make a hell so horrible for his people because I thought God loved all even if you sinned. According to this book I must have been wrong. This epic poem was very entertaining in its horror to say the least and will always be in the back of my mind when I contemplate committing a sin.
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