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.
As we all know, a first impression is a lasting one. As true as this statement may be, when reading between the lines of someone’s seemingly innocent story, they can turn out to be totally different people. In Canto 5 of Inferno, this exact phenomenon is portrayed. Canto 5 brings us to the second circle of Hell, the circle for the lustful souls, where we meet Francesca and Paolo. These two sinners tell Dante a woeful tale of love and betrayal through their tears.
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).
Many of those on the wrong path in their own lives have started on that same path on which they will also end; Dante realizes his error and, in attempting to set himself back on the right path, he goes on an important journey. Like those who also stray from their “right” path, this poet must embark on a fantastic and terrifying journey of exploration and self discovery. In the Inferno, the circle of Hell is determined by the sins the person (soul) committed while still alive on earth. For their deeds, they suffer eternally according to Divine Justice. The people one sees in life can already have chosen their eternal fate.
Dante’s Inferno Dante's poem is a firsthand narrative of his own journey through the depths of Hell. After his exile from Florence in 1302, he spends his life traveling through a perpetual Hell and recounts his realizations about society in his writings. Dante explains his vision of Hell the entire way through, giving the reader an idea of the different degrees of sin and punishment there. He emphasizes how the sins get worse the deeper he descends into Hell; the worst sinners are toward the bottom. Witnessing punishments and facing sinners directly, he attempts to discover what he must do to resolve his own sins and get back on the righteous path.
Dante must overcome sin in his quest through hell, or he will be trapped there. Dante wants to be reunited with his love, Beatrice, and receive God’s love. As he ventures through the bowels of hell with Virgil, he visits many of the damned souls in the circles of hell. Some of the punishments witnessed by Dante cause him to lose consciousness. Many of the creatures in the depths of hell try to stop Dante from advancing, but are thwarted because Dante is guided by God and his loved ones.
Of the Medieval Texts, Dante’s Inferno, gives readers insight into a poetically described version of Hell that is full of punishment and evil. Dante travels through purgatory speaking with various shades as well as converses with his guide to gain insight on the follies of man. Each Canto describes certain characters and their reasons for being stuck in Hell. Through analysis of the text as well as support from literature written by Sara Sturm, R Bates, and lastly EM Hood, Canto XXVI not only provides insight on Dante’s political beliefs, but also describes the eventual demise of false counselors, as well as those whom are not grateful for their God-Given gifts. First, Dante Alighieri utilizes Canto XXVI to further describe his political beliefs and agenda to his readers.