Directly before entering the First Circle of Hell reside the souls who are not even sinners, but just those in a purgatorial state who did not live for good or evil during their lifetimes. Dante observes their torment, seeing the souls “stung and stung again/ by the hornets and the wasps that circled them / and made their faces run with blood in streaks;/ their blood, mixed with their tears, dripped to their feet, / and disgusting maggots collected in the pus,” (III. 65-69). Dante’s vivid description of the gruesome degradation of the people stuck in Hell directly attacks the idea that God created Hell with justice in mind; no justice can be found in brutally punishing those who did nothing to deserve it. Dante then enters the First Circle of Hell, which brings Dante overwhelming grief when he sees his poetic idols stuck in Hell.
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.
The Inferno The Inferno written by Dante Alighieri is an epic about his journey through Hell. In Dante’s representation of Hell contains nine circles containing different sins each with a more severe punishment than the last. In these increasingly terrifying scenarios, he encounters many ironic punishments and often has discussions with a person amidst the torment. Dante is accompanied by a guide (Virgil) who acts as the mentor. The two travel through hell in hopes of reaching Heaven.
In Dante’s Inferno, Dante is taken on a journey through hell. On this journey, Dane sees the many different forms of sins, and each with its own unique contrapasso, or counter-suffering. Each of these punishments reflects the sin of a person, usually offering some ironic way of suffering as a sort of revenge for breaking God’s law. As Dante wrote this work and developed the contrapassos, he allows himself to play God, deciding who is in hell and why they are there. He uses this opportunity to strike at his foes, placing them in the bowels of hell, saying that they have nothing to look forward to but the agony of suffering and the separation from God.
Some may think they know Satan but when asked “Is Satan divine?” they hesitate. I admit that this is a very tough question to answer but it is just one of the ways that we understand Satan. The tools we have to understand Satan are mainly the just Bible and our questions, but some use John Milton’s Paradise Lost. There are some who think we should not use Paradise Lost as a tool because it is just a fictional book. I personally believe that this book could be a story told to John Milton by the Holy Spirit.
The ninth and final circle of Hell is those of betrayal. Betrayal of family, country, guests, and worst of all benefactors. After Dante goes through the circles of Hell and understands the punishment for the different types of sin, he wants to live a life more virtuous and repent in order to get to Heaven. The contrapasso or God’s perfect justice is used for offenders to relive their sins they chose over serving God. Dante relates to the reader because he too chose sin over God, but finds redemption as the poem suggests the reader can also.
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. Even though some of the punishments the sinners in Hell seem arbitrary, they are fitting because contrapasso forces each sinner to re-live the most horrible aspect of their sin to ensure they never forget their crimes against God. As Dante and Virgil, Dante’s guide through Hell, approach the Gate of Hell, Dante reads the inscription above the gates: “Through me the way to the suffering city, through me the way to the eternal pain, through me the way that runs among the lost. Justice urged on my high artificer; my maker was divine authority, the highest wisdom and the primal love. Before me nothing but eternal things were made, and I endure eternally.
Allusions in the Inferno The inferno takes the reader through Dante’s haunting journey in hell. On this journey Dante is guided by Virgil through nine circles that make up hell. Hell is shaped like a tunnel, and the further down it descends the worse the punishment is in each circle. Sinners are placed in the circles according to their sins. The more offensive the nature of the sin, the worse the punishment is, and the further down the tunnel is where the circle is placed.
XXVIII.35-36). Dante encounters a myriad of characters in many realms of interest, including theological and political figures. This Canto adequately flows in the context of the rest of the work, but in order to understand why, the general trend of Inferno must be pointed out. The Bible states, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8, NIV). As Dante descends deeper into the realm of hell, he becomes closer to the center of the earth and farther away from God, or farther away from love.
He was a pious man whose own experiences in a corrupt society shaped his writing style and the symbolism he included in his stories. There are graphic details of each circle of hell by describing the appropriate judgement of each sin. In essence, the condemned are those who ignored with God’s laws and eluded His spirit. He describes the different realms of Hell and always descripts the emotions he is feeling in order for the reader to understand the severity of what he has witnessed. The comedy is supposed to symbolize the world we reside in; and Dante’s journey into the afterlife evaluates the human struggles when confronted with sin whether they conquer or succumb to it.