The first level is purgatory, canto four, a place where people who neither did good or bad go. The idea of purgatory, or limbo, is a region that lies on the edge of hell where those who were not saved even though they did no wrong were sent after death. Dante’s version of this area is more generous than most in the realm of hell. Purgatory is the first circle of hell, includes honest and moral non-Christian adults as well as unbaptized babies. (Lummus, 63). One would find some of the great philosophers, poets and heroes in this realm. For example, poets and philosophers like Homer and Aristotle live out their eternity in limbo.
When Dante first enters Limbo, he finds himself at the edge of a dark valley. Virgil, the poet who first came to him in the dark woods tells him it is time to enter the valley, Dante is scared to enter into it, but Virgil assures him that everything will be ok. A flame erupts which illuminates the valley and Dante sees a large castle where great thinkers, poets and philosophers lived. (Dante. 4-15 Along with ...
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...ing devoured for all eternity for example; one believes that this would be a better punishment.
In conclusion, allegorically, Dante’s Inferno represents the soul seeing corruption and sin for what it really is. Dante as a writer creates a lot of tension between unbiased punishment of Gods justice and the sympathy of Dante for the lost souls he sees around him. As Dante travels further into hell Dante feels less inclined toward pity for the souls, because the sins become so great that even Dante feels that they deserve what they are getting. This writing exerts the wisdom of divine justice and the ones who sinned receive the perfect punishment for their sin.
Alighieri, D. Inferno. 2011. Class Readings
Lummus, D. Dante’s Inferno: Critical Reception and Influence. 2006. Stanford University.
Retrieved from the Web. April 18, 2014
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