With Dante, Virgil, and the many other symbols it can be conveyed that in order for the everyday man, or Dante, to get what he truly desires, or God’s grace, then he must be guided by his ability to reason, or Virgil. The way that Hell is set up in Dante’s Inferno is that each level of sin has a specific punishment involved that a sinner must endure. God was in charge of making Hell to provide justice for those who sin, therefore Hell is God... ... middle of paper ... ...ere are many rings in this circle, but each contrapasso is unique in its own. The eighth circle of Hell contains those of fraud, including but are not limited to: the flatters, hypocrites, and the thieves. The ninth and final circle of Hell is those of betrayal.
The Beginning The play starts off with Jesus speaking; he is explaining how he died on the cross so that we could be given eternal life. In the instance of Jesus’ death it was very important. It was necessary for Jesus to die in order for us to be forgiven for the sins that we commit, and for us to one day have a place in heaven. During this part of the play the seven deadly sins are also mentioned. These sins are of importance because we live in a world today that is full of corruption and one day we are going to have to stand before God and explain to him why we fell part into the corruption and temptation.
While Lewis is walking he meets George MacDonald who aids him in his journey through heaven. MacDonald tells Lewis that this journey is a dream, which will make clear to him that souls have a choice between Heaven and Hell and what that choice is. Lewis, at first, is unable to understand why the lost souls must be damned. However, he is finally persuaded that Hell is the only merciful solution for the lost souls. Passing by many sad spectacles of people from Hell, Lewis begins to understand, with the help of MacDonald, that these people must throw away everything and commit their lives to Christ.
Love plays a significant role throughout Dante’s Divine Comedy in determining whether a soul will reach salvation. Each realm of the afterlife symbolizes the type of love its inhabitants exercised while they were living on Earth. Inferno shows how disordered love towards earthly desires dominates an individual while Paradise is the final ascension where the soul may live in God’s love. Although those in Paradise may have sinned, they repented long before their death. However, Purgatory is unlike Inferno or Paradise.
Christians believed that the saints were divinely empowered by God; yet with these powers, they possessed a tremendous amount of mercy. Because the saints were seen as more than just mortal men, their tombs, after they had passes on to the next life, were seen as holy as well. These grave sites were seen as “holy” because “ they allowed the average person to encounter their power and mercy that the saints possessed. The tombs of the saints “were privileged places, where the contrasted poles of Heaven and Earth met”(Brown2). Today this sounds a bit silly to think that a deceased person’s grav... ... middle of paper ... ...ationship with God was because they felt unworthy.
“They gathered down there in the realm of the dead to pray to their God, to be united with him and each other. They were not afraid of death, they had vanquished it. Gathered for their fraternal meetings, their love feasts.” Is this why most organized religions have a higher percentage of elderly believers? The fear of no afterlife and comfort of prayer bring many to worship God. When death is eminent, aren’t most people faced with terror.
MacDonald gives guidance towards our choice, “The choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words, ‘Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.’ There is always something they prefer to joy....” (71). At one point in the book McDonald observes a ghost with Lewis and suggests that truth is a lifelong process, our life longs for this truth. Although we may not all realize truth because of lack of time, Lewis suggests it’s just a matter of obtaining the truth through good use of time. “Evil can be undone, but it cannot ‘develop’ into good. Time does not heal it” (Preface: VIII).
The ‘Up on your feet’ passage is a famous excerpt from Dante’s Inferno. It is quite inspirational, for good purpose; the passage is half directed at Dante the pilgrim, and half at Dante the poet (his self). He needed just as much inspiration to finish writing the dang thing as his fictional self needed inspiration to make it through hell. That is where Virgil’s brief monologue comes in. Through his words, he is able to hype Dante up enough to want to finish writing Inferno, and make it through hell.
The fact that God created mankind’s soul with an eternal destiny should have a significant impact on our choices and priorities. The benefits and splendor of Heaven are greater than the punishments and tortures of Hell. The Bible describes Hell as a place of darkness, a lake of fire and brimstone. Matthew 25:41, describes Hell as a pit of fire that is prepared for Satan the devil, his demonic cohorts, and the other souls that chose to serve him during the trials of life on earth. The citizens of Hell will be populated with the souls of those who died without accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Furthermore, Dante discovers that hell is comprised of nine different circles containing sinners guilty of one type of sin, and that these circles are in order based upon how great an opposition the sin is to Christian morality and the ultimate will of God. We see here how Christianity plays a major role in the structure of hell and the degree to which each sinner is punished. Lastly, we can look at the story and see the importance of the grace of God not only to Dante during his journey, but how it affects the souls in hell and purgatory as well. Upon entering hell with Virgil, Dante becomes witness to the true perfection of the justice done to sinners after their earthly life is over. This divine justice inflicted by God chooses to punish the souls in hell in a way very similar or representative to how the souls sinned on Earth.