The state of Hell thematically represents a state of spiritual stagnation that bound whoever entered. In the beginning of the poem Dante’ is initially trapped in the “midway point of his life” (Inf I, 1). A midway point can also be seen as a turning point it is important to understand where the story begins, because it holds importance. At this midway point Dante is encountered by three demons that ultimately scare him to his path of entrapment. Here Alighieri uses words such as “impeded, barred the way” (Inf I, 35) that ultimately sets the tone for the reader as Dante decides to enter into the trap of hell.
In the Inferno we follow the journey of Dante as he wanders off the path of moral truth and into Hell. The Virgin Mary and Santa Lucia ask Beatrice, Dante’s deceased love, to send some help. Thus, Virgil comes to the rescue and essentially guides Dante through Hell and back to the mortal world from which he came. However, things begin to seem kind of odd. When reading the Inferno one may begin to question the way Dante describes Hell and the things that occur within, or even the things we have always believed about Hell.
But there are far worse punishments. As Dante and Virgil go through Hell, Dante observes the different punishments of the souls for the corresponding crimes that they committed while still on earth. This raises a question: was Dante biased in his placement of the souls in Hell? Did his own personal experiences with people he placed in Hell affect the way they were punished in his story? Would someone else put it differently?
Dante starts out traveling up the hill that is blocked by three beasts; this is where the dark ages began. This is where "Dante's Divine Comedy' was one of the lights that led the west out of the Dark Ages and towards the light of the Renaissance." As Dante passes through the depths of hell he begins to see sins that would be punished and tortured in medieval times to the same acts that are displayed in the era of the Renaissance, and yet are treated in other ways. It is the Renaissances era that is responsible for bringing Dante out of journey through hell. Dante was exiled from Florence in 1302 and this is where his feelings are coming from.
Virgil’s guidance will provide contrast and the necessary guidance to reach Paradise. The change of character Dante experience, is dreadful; pity and remorse must be exempted to honor retribution for the sinners’ defiance against God. All the answers regarding Hell, lies upon meeting the primal sinner, Lucifer, the Fallen Angel. Dante’s journey unfolds a critical analysis in which portrays the human struggle in every individual. There are several implications of the four functions of myth that can be derived from Dante’s Inferno.
Fire is not the only form of eternal punishment. Eternal thirst and great pain are other forms of punishment that will be experienced by the citizens of Hell. Christians believe that the souls in Hell will be able to see the souls that are in Heaven and vice versa. The souls in Hell simply chose a life of sin, non-repentance, and rebellion against God Word. Revelations 20:12-15, states the following: "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.
In Dante’s Inferno, Dante portrays the protagonist as he is guided by his ghostly friend Virgil the poet through the nine chambers of Hell. The transition from one circle to another is very shocking and graphic at what he witnesses through each circle. Dante uncovers where each sin will lead people to once the sinners souls face death. He faces many trials and tribulations through the beginning to end of the Inferno. Dante felt impelled to write the Inferno because he was going through his own personal struggles at the time.
Dante's Inferno and The Garden of Earthly Delights The Garden of Earthly Delights painted by Hieronymus Bosch, depicts many vivid fictional scenes in triptych style. The right wing of the triptych depicts Hell and the causes of man's downfall, which Dante wrote about in the Inferno. Dante tries to convey to all humanity the consequences of human actions and the levels of hell that he believes exist for different levels of sins. Dante divides Hell up into ten different circles, and there is an upper and a lower level of Hell. Dante and Bosch have similar views on the evil within people and this evil is represented in their works, whether it transpires in a painting or in a book.
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.
In order for Dante to elude contrapasso, he must go through Hell and see God’s punishment for each sin and truly repent to avoid the fate of sinners. Virgil represents the ability to reason that everyone has, Dante’s ability to reason, or Virgil, is taking him through Hell to seek redemption for his sins. At the beginning of the poem, Dante has lost his way in life and this is symbolized by Dante walking through the dark forest and attempting to find the path again but is encountered by a leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf and forced him to his inevitable journey through Hell and later to Heaven. Dante, hesitant at first, is told by Virgil that he must travel through Hell first, but will eventually to Heaven after he sees God’s perfect justice on sinners. With Dante, Virgil, and the many other symbols it can be conveyed that in order for the everyday man, or Dante, to get what he truly desires, or God’s grace, then he must be guided by his ability to reason, or Virgil.