Dante believes that human reasons separates man from beast, and to abuse such a gift from God warrants an unimaginable pain. Thus the deeper in hell you travel, the more thought out sins are punished and the less desirable the punishment. Seeing as this work was written by Dante, and the journey is taken by Dante, he has a unique opportunity to judge his fellow man and decide how they will be punished. He also gets to place his enemies in hell, forever besmirching their names for generations to remember. Perhaps unknowing to Dante, that is worse than any of the punishments that he placed his enemies in.
As Virgil leads Dante through the layers of Hell, they come across evildoers who are trapped in the personification of their own sinful personalities. Their tortures are extreme versions of their sins on earth. Dante imparts his own moral standards to the reader by portraying a hierarchy of evil that corresponds with his disapproval of the sin. As the pair of observers descends farther and farther into the pits of Hell, the punishments they see grow less and less bearable. While the evil in the first layers of Hell is simple, sometimes invoking pity in Dante, the lower levels of Hell punish souls for more complex and condemnable sins.
Dante shows promise as he reacts in an advisable way. He is utterly disgusted by the indecision of the Opportunists and understands how they are supposed to be down in Hell due to their sin. As Dante ventures further however, he begins doubting the punishments of God. As he finds the realm of the Lustful, Dante gets taken aback when he listens to the tale of two ill-fated lovers, Paolo and Francesca. Dante becomes sympathetic and emotional, saying, “I was swept by such a swoon as death is, and I fell, as a corpse might fall, to the dead floor of Hell” (Alighieri.V.138-140).
Dante begins The Inferno by embarking on a journey to Hell with his poet guide, Virgil. Along the voyage, the reader gets a taste of the gruesome imagery and depictions of the punishments for the different levels of sinner. Throughout this journey Dante encounters many sinners whom he knew or knew of in the real world, and in the beginning the sinners wanted their name to be spread in the world when Dante got out of Hell. But, as Dante explored further and further into the underworld, the sinners got less and less enthusiastic about themselves, which eventually turned into outright shame among the sinners in the lower depths of hell. Dante uses over the top examples of punishments for sins committed and the differing levels of shame the sinners feel to cause the reader to reevaluate his or her own life in the context of religious wrongdoings.
Inferno - Contrapasso In Dante’s Inferno, Dante takes a journey with Virgil through the many levels of Hell in order to experience and see the different punishments that sinners must endure for all eternity. As Dante and Virgil descend into the bowels of Hell, it becomes clear that the suffering increases as they continue to move lower into Hell, the conical recess in the earth created when Lucifer fell from Heaven. Dante values the health of society over self. This becomes evident as the sinners against society experience suffering greater than those suffer which were only responsible for sinning against themselves. Dante uses contrapasso, the Aristotelian theory that states a soul’s form of suffering in Hell contrasts or extends their sins in their life on earth, to ensure that the sinners never forget their crimes against God.
There are several implications of the four functions of myth that can be derived from Dante’s Inferno. Dante divides Hell into three dispositions: incontinence, malice and brutality. (Alighieri, Dante, and Longfellow 6.79-82) Sinners are placed in the lesser part of Hell, the incontinence, when demonstrating an uncontrollable appetite for human desires. The application of the psychological function is evident through Dante’s descriptions of the sins committed. “Th... ... middle of paper ... ...orsaken.
Certainly then, if the motive of hell’s creation was justice, then its purpose was (and still is) to provide justice. But what exactly is this justice that Dante refers to? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is the So hell exists to punish those who sin against god, and the suitability of Hell’s specific punishments testify to the divine perfection that all sin violates. This notion of the suitability of God’s punishments figures significantly in the structure of Dante’s Hell. To readers, as well as Dante himself (the character), the torments Dante and Virgil behold seem surprisingly harsh, possibly harsher than is fair, Dante exclaims this with surprise.
The general characteristics follow that the tragic hero is a noble, is responsible for their fate, contains a tragic flaw, and is doomed to make a severe error in judgment. Eventually, the tragic hero falls from a high status, realizes the mistake that was made, faces and accepts their death, and finally ends in a tragic death. It is important to state that, in all tragic heroes, the audience is affected by fear and/or pity. In Paradise Lost, the reader is easily able to relate to Satan, even pity him at some points... ... middle of paper ... ...riticism. London, Oxford University Press.
In the edge of Hell is the Vestibule, where the uncommitted are punished and are to run after a dirty, blank flag for eternity, while wasps and worms torment and bite them. Then in the first circle of hell, Limbo, is where the pure non-Christians, people who died without knowing of Christ, and unbaptized Pagans are punished with an eternity of a desire to see god now. This includes Virgil as well as many of the other famous historical writers of the time. Then when crossing the border into the second circle is a monster, named Minos, condemning souls to their respective punishments. The amount of times that Minos curls his tail around himself equals to which circle of Hell the soul is sent to.
In Dante’s Inferno, the punishment for a sin is the representation and reflection of the sin itself. The law of Dante’s Hell is symbolic retribution, which means that the specific attributes of the sin--how it was committed, by whom, and its effects--are concretely embodied in the specific nature of the punishment. This paper will attempt to show, by going through the geography of Dante’s Hell, how the sins in Dante’s Inferno are related to their punishments. Dante’s Hell is divided into nine circles, some of which are subdivided into rings. Each circle designates a sin and each ring designates a category falling under that sin.