Sympathy for the Sinners

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“Midway on our lives journey, I found myself in a dark woods, the right road lost” (Cantos I 392)
 There is said to be three major parts of everyone’s journey on the path to judgement day; birth, life and death. As one travels through these three parts they must continue to push forward only following the right path (Christianity) and if one is to stray from the path they may lose their way to salvation. In Dante’s The Divine Comedy we travel alongside one such man who has lost his way, Dante the Pilgrim (he is to represent the “every day” man). As he awakens in a dark woods, a symbol for his straying from the righteous path, he is not truly aware of what is to come. As his journey begins his world views are that everyone deserves a second chance, as did he. As his journey through hell nears to an end, his world views have changed as he comes to term that sin should not be pitied and those who he has met through his travels deserve their punishments.
 The poem was written in the early 1300’s after Dante the poet’s exile from Italy. Many religious and political issues lead to the creation of The Divine Comedy and the poem deals with those who Dante may have known or had knowledge of and those he liked or did not like. The beginning two Cantos, Dante is not fully prepared for what is to come. The foyer to hell or “the dark forest” is where Dante is greeted with the first set of threes. They’re multiple sets of threes, or divine trinities, throughout the novel. This is because it is said that three is seen as a holy number. In Christianity the trinity is represented as Jesus Christ, God and The Holy Ghost. The second set of threes is found in cantos two, as our “average man” Dante the Pilgrim is questioning if he is truly great eno...

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... (Cantos VIII 417). Here it is clear that his worldview has changed and his belief that the sinners should have a second chance is no longer. As they reach the Ninth circle where the greatest of sinners are damned, Dante no longer feels pity. As he approaches Friar Alberigo, he is cautious about wiping away his icy tears but after hearing his story about killing his relatives inside his own house he states to the man, “To be mean to him was a generous reward” (Cantos XXXIII 507)
 Through symbolizing and allegory, Dante the poet is able to show his views of religious and politics through the journey of Dante the Pilgrim. As the journey began, Dante the Pilgrim was heavenly sympathetic towards all sinners in the beginning circles of hell but as the number of circles grew higher his compassion towards the sinners decreased as he gained a strong belief of divine justice.
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