Essay about The Divine Comedy : Dante 's Journey Through Hell

Essay about The Divine Comedy : Dante 's Journey Through Hell

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What does hell look like? This question has survived throughout the millennia because people hold no clear answer to it. Various depictions of hell have been created, but one of the most incredibly vivid interpretations comes from Dante Alighieri’s epic three-part poem, The Divine Comedy. Dante’s journey through hell in Inferno (the first book of his epic) is well attributed to the different levels of torture people experience in accordance to their sins. One aspect that is often overlooked, however, is how the weather described within his poem affects the impact of each sin. In fact, weather such as hurricane-like wind, putrid rain, and flaming snow vigorously enhanced the nature of their corresponding sins portrayed in Dante’s Inferno.
For instance, Dante and his guide Virgil came upon a chaotic pit “…that groans like the sea in a storm, when it is lashed by conflicting winds” after entering the second circle of hell (V.28-30). The raging winds “…which never rests, drives the spirits before its violence;” causing the thousands upon thousands of spirits to be gust around, eternally colliding into each other (V.31-33). It was evident that the souls were in agony due to the merciless weather. Although these hurricane-like winds were their first extreme weather phenomena the two experienced, it was obvious who this nature of torture was for.
The wind itself was the predominant detail that impressively described what sin the souls were being punished for. As sinful love is a hurricane of passion and desires, so too is the punishment hurricane-like winds driving them about the air eternally. Additionally, these spirits in living would frequently interlock their bodies with another due to their impure sexual desires, and so these wi...


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...eresting aspect that is often overlooked is how the weather in the circles of hell contributes to this correspondence of sin. As shown previously, it becomes evident that weather such as hurricane-like wind, putrid rain, and flaming snow vigorously enhanced the nature of their corresponding sins portrayed in Dante’s Inferno. The wind represented lust being gust around like passion; the putrid rain represented the filth that the gluttons have to embrace because they created all of the filth in the living days, and the flaming snow represents the sterile violence that the people showed against God, art, and Nature. Dante’s usage of the weather to give the souls ‘a taste of their own medicine’ in the tormenting of hell was a phenomenal incorporation to the poem. It gives a sense of divine justice when nature itself shows wrath upon those who represent the nature of sin.

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