Dante's Inferno

Dante's Inferno

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The Journey of Dante

Dante records journey through hell in the book "The Inferno." Dante's poem records is thoughts and views of the punishments to get to hell and the sins accomplished to get their. Dante breaks down the lay out all the way through hell and give one an idea of the order that the punishments fall to be placed closer to the center of hell. Dante begins during the era of the middle Ages and shows the reader throughout poem of the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church through the Renaissance era.

Dante starts out traveling up the hill that is blocked by three beasts; this is where the dark ages began. This is where "Dante's Divine Comedy' was one of the lights that led the west out of the Dark Ages and towards the light of the Renaissance." As Dante passes through the depths of hell he begins to see sins that would be punished and tortured in medieval times to the same acts that are displayed in the era of the Renaissance, and yet are treated in other ways. It is the Renaissances era that is responsible for bringing Dante out of journey through hell.
Dante was exiled from Florence in 1302 and this is where his feelings are coming from. When Dante come out of the dark forest Dante is blocked by the three beasts. The beasts are a lion, a leopard, and she wolf. The lion is seen to poses pride, the leopards' role is that of lust and the she wolf represents what is greed or avarice. The three ferocious beasts have three of the seven deadly sins. These seven sins are from the Christians of the medieval times period.



As Dante is passes through the gates of hell, he finds that “The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened, have cast' them out, and deep hell receive them.” This propels Dante's believes of the Christian's ideas in order from the lightest penalties to the most sever in Dante’s mind. Among the sins and closes to the top are some of the seven deadly sins. If one could live back then with these sins he or she was bound for a life of eternal damnation.

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After passing through five of the seven sins of Christian tradition, Dante leads us to the sixth circle. This circle is “heretics” which is the next dimension or the lower part of hell. It is heretics that are against the church and it is this reason that they are deserving of their category. This was a feeling that was strong of Dante and he feels that they should be in a whole level closer to hell. With feelings like these, it is clear that Dante is thinking like the Roman Catholic Church.

Dante’s seventh circle is one that has lies and violence in it. This than divides in to murders and tyrants. It is than separated into violence against. Which is again separated into, blasphemers, sodomites, and Usurers. In the blasphemers zone is a statue of an old and aged man that points facing west towards Rome, looking for the city to blossom once again. The statue is a symbol of the struggles that took place in the medieval era.

Usurers are found in the third zone, which Dante sees as violence against art and nature. It would seem that this stage of his journey the Renaissance era is coming about in the thirteenth century. At this period art, nature, and humanism was strong in the people’s minds and any act that would threaten violence to it was a sin.

Malebolge is the eight circle, which is labeled Fraud and has ten slots that cascade down from it. These show the ten different types of fraud. Dante during this time id mad about the pope because of all the fraud that he has committed, Dante refers to the pope as a “lawless Shepard” This is referring to the church that became wealthy and out of control during these times. Acts of corruption and disorder bring about the Babylonian Captivity. These types of acts caused by a fraudulent Church system made fraud or “Malebolge” a sin of the far depths of hell.

The fifth slot off of fraud is barrator. This is due to “Elders of Saint Zita in Lucca,” who was guilty of barratry. Dante can relate this act to his own life, because “this was a charge leveled against Dante himself by the Black Guelphs who banished him from Florence.

The pit of hell, or the ninth circle, and the final steps stop for sinners. This is where Treachery is punished for life. There are four subdivisions off of it and they are named after characters from the Bible. Which are China “traitors of kin”, Antenora “homeland and party”, Ptolomea “traitors to guests”, and Judecca “traitors to benefactors.” These are characters of the Bible and all descend in order of sin from bad down to the worst. The worst possible would be that of “Juddecca” after Judas Iscariot which “committed the greatest betrayal of all”, who betrayed Christ. Dante could see no worse a sinner then Judas.

“To get back up to the shining world from there”
”My guide and I went into that hidden tunnel;”

”Where we came forth, and once more saw the stars.”

Dante now passed through all the rings of treachery and is in the pit of hell. It is here that Lucifer is found, the king of hell. Once “beautiful of all angels before he rebelled against God and was renamed Satan.” The final clash with Satan and all he has seen, shows Dante a way out the medieval era and into the mind set of the Renaissance. Showing Dante a new way of life, through what he had learned in hell. It showed Dante’s prospective on the times that he was in and what he had believed in.
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