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Dante's Inferno: A Representation of His Own Sins

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Some people believe the Inferno is an allegorical confrontation of Dante’s sins among his lifetime. There are many examples in his writing that show this, some of which include symbols, people form his lifetime, and events pertaining to his personal beliefs.The first main example of this exists in Canto Thirty-Two, the betrayers of kindred, or more specific to Dante himself; betrayers of country. Dante was exiled from his home in Florence where he served as a politician.Considering his own personal treachery, it makes sense for him to have chosen the ninth ring of the traitors to be the worst of all. In this Canto, Dante has a run-in with one of the sinners in particular, Bocca. In their confrontation, the Bocca is too embarrassed to admit his deed. Dante offers to discuss with Bocca his sin, being interested and curious with him. He asks, “if you should look for fame, I’ll make note of you with all the rest.”(Dante 32.92-93). Bocca replies, “I crave the opposite.”(Dante 32.94). By this Bocca means that he does not wish to share his deed, as he is most likely embarrassed. Considering Dante’s love of his country, I think that he included this confrontation to show that he too is embarrassed of his own treachery.
The second primary example of Dante’s confrontation to his own sins is located in Canto Twenty-Three, the Hypocrites in ring six of Hell. I believe that the reason Dante acted so afraid in this Canto is because he felt guilty. During this Canto, Dante exclaims quite a few words revealing his discomfort. The first, “O weary mantle for eternity!”(Dante 23.67) and he continues on asking Virgil, “Please find someone/who we might recognize by deed or name.”(Dante 23.73-75). In this section of Canto Twenty-Three, Dante is afrai...

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...ustice in the work against the sinners is clarified yet again in Canto Twenty. This particular ring of hell is reserved for those who meddle with the future, distinctively fortune tellers, astrologers, and witches and wizards. Dante writes these future-seers as, “For backward to the kidneys turned the face, and backward always did they have to go, as they had lost sight of the things ahead.”(Dante 20.13-15). To earn just against the future-seers, Dante writes them as having their heads facing backwards on their bodies so they can never see ahead, or more importantly, the future. Dante writes them being punished base on their fraudulent act, specifically this punishment for this sin. This supports the theory that Dante wrote based on his belief of divine justice. In the remaining cantos, Dante loosely bases the retribution of the sinners on their specific damnation.
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