Dante's Inferno: The Levels of Hell

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Dante's Inferno: The Levels of Hell

Level One

According to Dante, there are various levels in hell. The first level in Hell is called Limbo. All the individuals who die before being baptized and those who live as virtuous pagans are condemned to spend the rest of eternity at this level. The people being referred to in this level are those who die before accepting Christianity. All the individuals who die non-Christians, including philosophers who typically do not associate themselves with any religion are going to be condemned to this level for eternity. Some of the examples that provided by Dente include famous philosophers like Socrates and Plato. This level is therefore the least severe in terms of punishment and is the farthest from Satan.

Level Two

The second level is known as lust and consists of the desperate and the despondent. All the sinners who will be found to be guilty of lust will be condemned to this level for eternity. The souls of all the individuals found guilty of this sin will be scattered and blown about without any hope of rest. In this level, people will be subjected to eternal unrest and hopelessness. This level is the second farthest circle from Satan and is slightly harsher than the first one, but is not as cruel as the other circles that follow.

Level Three

The third level consists of gluttons who will be forced to eat and lie down in vile places. In addition, the gluttons will also be subjected to freezing slush, which is allegedly similar to the harsh environment subjected to pigs. The character considered to be the head of this group of gluttons is Cerberus. The conditions at this level will be like clumps of mud and other deplorable areas. The gluttony level will be harsher than the previous...

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...as the potential leaders of all the people who will be condemned to this level. This level is therefore considered to be the most severe in terms of punishment as compared to the rest.

Works Cited

Dante's Inferno. “The Levels of Hell.” Danteinferno.info. n.d., 30 September 2011, http://www.danteinferno.info/circles-of-hell/

Eileen, Gardine. Visions of Heaven & Hell before Dante. New York: Italica Press, 1989.

Goff, Jacques. The Birth of Purgatory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

Himmelfarb, Martha. Tours of Hell: An Apocalyptic Form in Jewish and Christian Literature. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983.

Thompson, Diane. “World Literature I (Eng 251): Dante's Inferno Study Guide.” Northern Virginia Community College. Last modified 2007. Accessed 30 September 2011. http://novaonline.nvcc.edu/eli/eng251/dante.html

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