An Analysis Of Dante's Inferno

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“Abandon all hope ye who enter here” (The Inferno, Cantos III). This line which is inscribed above the gates of Hell, and notably one of the most iconic lines from Dante Alighieri’s, The Inferno, describes what horrors await one inside Hell. Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy, while in exile from his home and birth place, Florence. The Divine Comedy is not only a physical, but spiritual journey which consists of three parts. Part one is The Inferno where Dante journeys through Hell with his guide, the Roman poet Virgil. Part two is called, Purgatory where Dante travels through the place where the souls still have hope to enter heaven. Finally, the last part of the Comedy, is Paradise where Dante gets to see the thrown of God. The Inferno…show more content…
Dante is just like everyone else in regards to knowing absolutely nothing of Hell. It can be said that one reason that Dante wrote The Inferno was for a moral purpose. To point out to the living the error of their ways and to turn them to the path of salvation. Dante creates his own vision of Hell, but nobody knows for sure if Hell is really like he describes. It could be less violent or it could be unimaginably worse. Of course, the threat of Hell can only work if someone believes in the notion of Hell and Heaven and ultimately, if they believe in God. Addressing this issue, Dante awards places in The Inferno for those who do not believe. There is a special area in Hell for those who were born before the practice of Christianity and therefore they couldn’t believe in God. “These were sinless. And still there merits fail, for they lacked Baptism’s grace, which is the door of the true faith you were born to. Their births fell before the age of the Christians mysteries, and so they did not worship God’s Trinity in fullest duty” (The Inferno, Canto IV). His guide, Virgil says that is where he resides. There also is another category of sinners who are punished for their beliefs. “All around are flames and red-hot tombs from which wailings come forth. Virgil explains to the pilgrim that here are buried the souls of the many and various heretics, who burn…show more content…
“The Inferno describes a situation in which the incarcerated have no hope and no possibilities” (Baur). Dante portrays Hell as the condition of the soul after death in which is influenced by the choices made in life. “Constructed as a huge funnel with nine descending circular ledges, Dante 's Hell is a vast and meticulously organized torture chamber in which sinners, carefully and almost pedantically classified according to the nature of their sins, suffer hideous punishment, often depicted with ghoulish attention to detail” (“Dante”). Many of the punishments are very cruel and unusual such as the punishments for suicides. One who has killed his/herself, becomes a tree and is pecked at by harpies. When a branch or twig breaks, it is the equivalent of a human being dismembered. Another group punished is the profligates (those who did not value their earthly goods), “Behind these two the wood was overrun by packs of black bitches ravenous and ready, like hunting dogs just broken from their chains; they sank their fangs in that poor wretch who hid, they ripped him open pieces by pieces, and then ran off with mouthfuls of his wretched limbs” (The Inferno, Canto XIII). There are even more horrifying and painful punishments in The Inferno. This fear of everlasting pain succeeds in acting as a threat to get people to act morally
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