The Image of God as Justice in Dante's Inferno by Essay

The Image of God as Justice in Dante's Inferno by Essay

Length: 623 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

God is Justice
While Dante has the audacity to describe Lucifer himself in his Inferno he never describes God directly. Rather, he describes other entities from heaven, and expressions of God’s will. Thus, an image of God doesn’t really exist in Inferno. Early in the journey though, Dante equates God and justice as he crosses the Acheron, and does not present an image of a just God, but suggests that God is justice itself. This equating of God to justice occurs when Virgil first has to invoke God’s authorization for Dante’s journey. When Virgil has to insist that they are allowed to be there later God and justice are recalled, implying that God himself is present in the punishments in Hell and that those punishments are just.
Dante suggests God is justice because justice and God are what allow passage across the Acheron. When Dante and Virgil first attempt to cross the Acheron they are stopped by Charon. Virgil tells Charon to allow them to pass because their “passage has been willed above, where One/ can do what He has willed” (III.95-96). The “He” who is willing their passage from above is clearly God. Thus, God is the one who allows anyone to cross the Acheron. Later Virgil explains to Dante that the souls waiting to cross the Acheron are not afraid to but “Celestial justice spurs them on” (III.125). The “celestial justice” which prompts the souls to cross the Acheron is also the force which allows Dante to cross. Dante was allowed to cross because God willed it, so God is also the “celestial justice” Virgil describes. When God’s will is invoked later justice is also implied, as it is when Minos also challenges Dante’s passage.
When Virgil replies to Minos’ challenge to the journey with the same words he used w...


... middle of paper ...


...eron and pass Minos. Likewise, justice prompts souls to cross the Acheron. Justice and God then are equated as they both allow passage over the Acheron. Passing Minos also requires God’s will, and therefore also requires the act to be just. The souls who pass Minos then are in Hell justly. Likewise, the reference to God’s will outside the city of Dis shows that God’s justice is in fact present even in Hell. Dante uses this synonymity of God and justice to imply that God is in fact everywhere in the Inferno as souls receive their just due. Since justice is present even in the chaos of Dante’s Hell, can there be any question of there being justice in the chaos of the world around us?


Works Cited

Alighieri, Dante, Eugenio Montale, and Peter Armour. "Inferno." The Divine Comedy. Trans. Allen
Mandelbaum. New-York: Everyman's Library, 1995. N. pag. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

God's Justice in The Inferno by Dante Alighieri Essay

- “The Inferno” was written in the early fourteenth century by Italian politician Dante Alighieri, the book is the first part of the epic poem the “Divine Comedy” and it is followed by “Purgatorio” and “Paradiso”. The book “Inferno”, which is the Italian translation for Hell, narrates the journey of its author through what he believes is Hell, consisting of nine circles of suffering underneath the earth. In his journey Dante is guided through the nine regions by the poet Virgil, who represents Human Reason, each circle in the book represents a different type of sin with a different type of punishment, varying according to the degree of offense they committed in life....   [tags: The Inferno, Dante Alighieri]

Better Essays
1815 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on The Portrayal of a Just God in Dante's Divine Comedy

- An aspect of poesy that one can omit is the poet's intended message to the reader. In the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri depicts his journey from hell to heaven. On a literal sense that is all that the Divine Comedy is; one man’s incredible odyssey. Figuratively,however; Dante is travelling in order to fathom the human condition. The journey is meant to symbolize how to live one’s life by seeing how others lived theirs. Dante travels to hell, purgatory, and heaven in order to teach us how to live our lives....   [tags: sin, punishment, hell]

Better Essays
680 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on The Role and Function of the Major Monsters in Dante’s Inferno

- In Dante’s Inferno, throughout the epic journey of the character Dante into the depth of Hell, he encounters a number of beasts and monsters as he passes along the way, especially through the seven stations of the greatest monsters of Hell. The most significant of these seven major monsters is of central importance to the character Dante’s journey as well as to the narrative, for these monsters not only challenge the presence of the character Dante in Hell, but they are also the important custodians of Hell....   [tags: Dante’s Inferno Essays]

Better Essays
1944 words (5.6 pages)

Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Dante´s: What Are We? Essay example

- ... An example of this divine power would be when the Furies will not let Dante and Virgil get past the Gate of Dis. Also in the Inferno, Dante’s take on hell and Islamic view of hell can be different. The Qur'an never mentions a complete and distinctly actual physical Hell like Dante portrays, but the Islam used allegory like Dante to portray the subject that is far beyond intellectual understanding. Just like trying to describe a place to a person that is blind, it is very hard to describe a place to someone who has never been there before....   [tags: poem, justice, hells, beliefs]

Better Essays
827 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about The Divine Comedy By Dante

- The Divine Comedy written by Dante is one of the greatest poems ever written based on the fact that it is an autobiography as well as an allegory. It is considered an autobiography of Dante because he uses his personal experiences as motivation and inspiration. The beginning of first poem in The Divine Comedy, The Inferno, is related to the emotions Dante experienced after being exiled from Florence. He is wandering in the woods when he comes up to the bottom of a hill and starts to climb it before he is stopped by three creatures....   [tags: Divine Comedy, Inferno, Hell, Heaven]

Better Essays
1244 words (3.6 pages)

The Beasts and Monsters in Dante's Inferno Essay example

- The Inferno is the first section of Dante's three-part poem, The Divine Comedy. Throughout Dante's epic journey into the depths of Inferno he encounters thirty monsters and five hybrid creatures.  The most significant of these monsters are of central importance to his journey and to the narrative, as they not only challenge Dante's presence in Inferno, but are custodians of Hell, keeping in order or guarding the "perduta gente".  In this essay I am concentrating on these prominent beasts, namely Minos, Cerberus, Plutus and Geryon, establishing why they feature in Dante's eschatological vision and discussing the sources which influenced his inclusion of these particular creatures....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays]

Better Essays
2974 words (8.5 pages)

Essay about The Comparison of Dante's Inferno and the Purgatorio

- The Comparison of Dante's Inferno and the Purgatorio There are many differences in the Inferno and the Purgatorio of Dante Alghieri, from the differences in atmosphere and attitude, darkness and light, between sins and their punishments as well as the characters of the Comedy. My purpose is to shed light on what I found to be interesting differences of the two. I would like to begin with the comparison of the coming of the old men in both the Inferno and the Purgatorio. In the Inferno it starts by saying: And Lo....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
906 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Canto V of Dante’s Inferno

- Canto V of Dante’s Inferno In Dante’s Inferno, part of The Divine Comedy, Canto V introduces the torments of Hell in the Second Circle. Here Minos tells the damned where they will spend eternity by wrapping his tail around himself. The Second Circle of Hell holds the lustful; those who sinned with the flesh. They are punished in the darkness by an unending tempest, which batters them with winds and rain. Hell is not only a geographical place, but also a representation of the potential for sin and evil within every individual human soul....   [tags: essays papers]

Better Essays
578 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Morality in Dante’s Inferno, Hamlet, The Trial, and Joyce’s The Dead

- Changing Morality in Dante’s Inferno, Hamlet, The Trial, and Joyce’s The Dead         Everyone remembers the nasty villains that terrorize the happy people in fairy tales. Indeed, many of these fairy tales are defined by their clearly defined good and bad archetypes, using clichéd physical stereotypes. What is noteworthy is that these fairy tales are predominately either old themselves or based on stories of antiquity. Modern stories and epics do not offer these clear definitions; they force the reader to continually redefine the definitions of morality to the hero that is not fully good and the villain that is not so despicable....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Better Essays
2804 words (8 pages)

Essay on Divine Grace and Justice in Dante's Inferno

- Divine Justice and Grace in Inferno The purpose of the pilgrim's journey through hell is to show, first hand, the divine justice of God and how Christian morality dictates how, and to what degree, sinners are punished. Also, the journey shows the significance of God's grace and how it affects not only the living, but the deceased as well. During his trip through hell, the character of Dante witnesses the true perfection of God's justice in that every sinner is punished in the same nature as their sins....   [tags: Dante Alighieri European Literature]

Better Essays
1539 words (4.4 pages)