At the beginning of the allegory, you meet Dante wandering around the woods. He seems to have lost his way, become so consumed by his sin, that he is lost in the world. As he encounters a mountain that he tries to climb into ‘Paradise’ or Heaven he encounters a leopard, lion, and she-wolf. Each of these beasts represents Dante’s biggest sins, which prevent him from entering Heaven. Each circle of Hell is particularly planned out, and only you can determine your fate. One’s actions determine where they will end up. Dante needs Virgil to enlighten him, to show him the reality of the world so he is able to follow the right path to be able to enter into Heaven.
Throughout the first circles of Hell you see Dante become overcome with pity, which causes him to faint. “Great sorrow seized my heart when I understood him, because I knew that people of great worth were suspended in that limbo” (Durling, pg73, line 43-45). The people stuck in Ante-Inferno are those who were neither good nor evil, they lived their life without good or meaning so now they are neither a part of Heaven or Hell, they are stuck in a place without meaning, because that is ...
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...oved of what he was saying due to the fact that their sins could have been prevented.
One could make the argument that Dante’s journey provided him the insight he needed in order to find his way and start living his life the right way in order to be able to walk up the mountain into Heaven. You see a major change in his personality from the beginning of his journey, where he felt compassion and pity for the sinners, to the end of his journey where he was disgusted and hateful toward the sinners. One could also make the argument that this change of heart was due to the fact that he could sympathize with the sinners in the upper levels of Hell because they were not able to control their desires and these are sins that he is guilty of committing as well, where as he shows no compassion in the lower levels of Hell because those sinners could have prevented those sins.
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