By Dante. New York: Mentor, 1954. Pinsky, Robert. The Inferno of Dante. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.
Jacoff, Rachel and Jeffrey T. Schnapp. The Poetry of Allusion: Virgil and Ovid in Dante’s Commedia. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1991. Virgil. The Aeneid.
Inferno Research Paper Anthony K. Cassell stated in his critical essay titled “Farinata” that “the methods of punishment in Dante’s Hell are exquisitely diverse.” The cantos in Inferno are focused on Circles or subdivisions of Hell that describe specific punishments for the suffering souls based upon the sin they committed. The deeper into Hell, the worse the sins that were committed, therefore the agonies of the punishments are greater. In Inferno, Dante brings the issue of sin into light by giving instances of sins he has taken note of. He places the guilty souls at different levels of Hell, depending on which crimes he believes are the worst to commit, showing “how Dante portrayed his understanding of God’s justice” (Cassell). Inferno, by Dante Alighieri should be seen as a manual of moral and religious instruction because it represents the theme of divine justice for sin.
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
The three best allegories in Dante’s Inferno describe the flatterers, fortune tellers, and suicides. To begin, Dante creates an allegory within the punishment of the Flatterers in Hell. Circle eight of Hell holds these sinners who flattered people during their life but didn’t mean what they said and talked bad about them behind their back. These people are sunk in a river of human excrement for “talking crap” and being a “brown noser”. Whenever they open their mouth, the excrement enters their mouth, creating the term of “being full of it”.
Many of those on the wrong path in their own lives have started on that same path on which they will also end; Dante realizes his error and, in attempting to set himself back on the right path, he goes on an important journey. Like those who also stray from their “right” path, this poet must embark on a fantastic and terrifying journey of exploration and self discovery. In the Inferno, the circle of Hell is determined by the sins the person (soul) committed while still alive on earth. For their deeds, they suffer eternally according to Divine Justice. The people one sees in life can already have chosen their eternal fate.