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The Influence of Dante's Inferno

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Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy is an epic poem that begins with the Inferno. The Inferno is an extremely influential part of European literature. The structure of story is for many people a piece of the vision of Hell. Religiously, this poem has had great prevalence. Dante paints a picture of the Hell that is both unsettling and justifiable. A whole world is created through his poem. The levels and intensity of sin is pondered. Crime is put to a level of small to large scale. Those that are intentional and calculated are deemed more heinous than those that are out of passion. There are many reasons why this piece of literature make me think and develops my own ideas of what lies beyond this world. Dante’s Inferno causes religious thought and makes a person question their own action.

Dante has invoked me to search deeper into my beliefs of life and death. This poem has a great magnitude of contemplation. “Alhough I dated a new era in my life from Walden I did not straight away build a cabin and live in it…Walden’s effect on me was internal, not material. I discovered my love for wise and stirring voices, authors who could cast spells and teach truths” (Bonin 83). This quote from “The Education of the Soul: The Forsaken Ideal of Literary Study” by Michael Richard Bonin is one that I find compelling. Although my experience with this piece of literature will not contribute to my profession, it still has managed to move me as a person. Dante has caused me to contemplate the way I look upon my religious beliefs and what will become of me when I die.

Religion is obviously involved when you look at this epic poem. As a Christian, Hell is looked upon in fear. The Inferno falls to the sinner’s nature. It makes those w...

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...t continues to thrive in today’s society because it presents a question of one’s actions and faith. The description of this work is both beautiful, in terms of wording, and grotesque, in punishment. Dante makes his audience contemplate their reason for being. The severity of sin and their horrid punishment made me ponder the way I live my everyday life because I feel that Hell is both real and a place for punishment. The action of doing the right thing presents a person with Paradise and thievery will award you with snake bites.

Work Cited

Alighieri, Dante. “The Divine Comedy: Inferno.”‖ The Norton Anthology of Western Literature. 8th ed. Ed. Sarah Lawall. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006. 1465-1576. Print.

Bonin, Michael Richard. ―The Education of the Soul: The Forsaken Ideal of Literary Study.‖ Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature 53 (1999): 83-89.
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