Dante must overcome sin in his quest through hell, or he will be trapped there. Dante wants to be reunited with his love, Beatrice, and receive God’s love. As he ventures through the bowels of hell with Virgil, he visits many of the damned souls in the circles of hell. Some of the punishments witnessed by Dante cause him to lose consciousness. Many of the creatures in the depths of hell try to stop Dante from advancing, but are thwarted because Dante is guided by God and his loved ones.
It is a fitting punishment because he wanted to rule like God. Now he does, but he rules over the souls who could not achieve the presence of God after death. Dante efficiently uses contrapasso to punish the souls that sinned in their lifetimes. All the sinners experience ultimate suffering as they act to extend or continue their sin for eternity. The suffering in Hell is ultimately unbearable, regardless of the nature of sin.
The ninth and final circle of Hell is those of betrayal. Betrayal of family, country, guests, and worst of all benefactors. After Dante goes through the circles of Hell and understands the punishment for the different types of sin, he wants to live a life more virtuous and repent in order to get to Heaven. The contrapasso or God’s perfect justice is used for offenders to relive their sins they chose over serving God. Dante relates to the reader because he too chose sin over God, but finds redemption as the poem suggests the reader can also.
Dante’s Inferno has lasted the test of time, and though its writer didn’t necessarily believe this to be the true representation of Hell, he shows the world what his personal Hell would consist of. Throughout the text, Dante the Pilgrim is lead through Hell by one of the greatest poets the world has known, and Dante’s personal motivation for becoming a poet, Virgil. At one point, toward the end of their journey, when the pair reaches one of the lowest levels of Hell, Dante feels as if he can travel no more. He sinks to the ground in despair. This angers his guide, who reprimands Dante.
In Dante’s Inferno, Dante portrays the protagonist as he is guided by his ghostly friend Virgil the poet through the nine chambers of Hell. The transition from one circle to another is very shocking and graphic at what he witnesses through each circle. Dante uncovers where each sin will lead people to once the sinners souls face death. He faces many trials and tribulations through the beginning to end of the Inferno. Dante felt impelled to write the Inferno because he was going through his own personal struggles at the time.
The state of Hell thematically represents a state of spiritual stagnation that bound whoever entered. In the beginning of the poem Dante’ is initially trapped in the “midway point of his life” (Inf I, 1). A midway point can also be seen as a turning point it is important to understand where the story begins, because it holds importance. At this midway point Dante is encountered by three demons that ultimately scare him to his path of entrapment. Here Alighieri uses words such as “impeded, barred the way” (Inf I, 35) that ultimately sets the tone for the reader as Dante decides to enter into the trap of hell.
Dante believes that human reasons separates man from beast, and to abuse such a gift from God warrants an unimaginable pain. Thus the deeper in hell you travel, the more thought out sins are punished and the less desirable the punishment. Seeing as this work was written by Dante, and the journey is taken by Dante, he has a unique opportunity to judge his fellow man and decide how they will be punished. He also gets to place his enemies in hell, forever besmirching their names for generations to remember. Perhaps unknowing to Dante, that is worse than any of the punishments that he placed his enemies in.
Dante's "Inferno" is full of themes. But the most frequent is that of the weakness of human nature. Dante's descent into hell is initially so that Dante can see how he can better live his life, free of weaknesses that may ultimately be his ticket to hell. Through the first ten cantos, Dante portrays how each level of his hell is a manifestation of human weakness and a loss of hope, which ultimately Dante uses to purge and learn from. Dante, himself, is about to fall into the weaknesses of humans, before there is some divine intervention on the part of his love Beatrice, who is in heaven.
Dante begins The Inferno by embarking on a journey to Hell with his poet guide, Virgil. Along the voyage, the reader gets a taste of the gruesome imagery and depictions of the punishments for the different levels of sinner. Throughout this journey Dante encounters many sinners whom he knew or knew of in the real world, and in the beginning the sinners wanted their name to be spread in the world when Dante got out of Hell. But, as Dante explored further and further into the underworld, the sinners got less and less enthusiastic about themselves, which eventually turned into outright shame among the sinners in the lower depths of hell. Dante uses over the top examples of punishments for sins committed and the differing levels of shame the sinners feel to cause the reader to reevaluate his or her own life in the context of religious wrongdoings.
The two travel through hell in hopes of reaching Heaven. While Dante walks as a bystander in the terrors of hell, he begins to commit sins himself, although towards the sinners which he encounters he still is admitted into heaven. While Dante occasionally sins throughout his journey, he usually meets the sinners with compassion and pity, but Virgil meets them with the opposite and views them in disgust. While they may treat them any way they want, the one which causes them the most torment is God, which Dante himself views cruel at times.These incongruities and travesties, bring the morality of the Catholic system of condemnation into question. Dante eventually makes it out of hell and travels to heaven, but he really was not deserving of it seeing as he committed multiple sins along the way.