The Inferno By Dante Alighieri Essay

The Inferno By Dante Alighieri Essay

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Hell, it isn 't a place where anyone really wants to end up, well permanently that is. Dante Alighieri however really enjoys taking a “trip” to hell to teach us and enlighten us on the ins and outs and where exactly all the sinners end up. Alighieri tackles this daunting task of making all of hell fit into a small pocket-able, yet very enjoyable story by using a variety of literary styles and devices. However, let’s take a look at one specifically, symbolism. This is one of the most prevalent and obvious device, but it is the most important because it not only makes the story easier for the reader to understand, as well as make the book as enjoyable as it was.
The Inferno, By Dante Alighieri is an interesting piece due to the unique literary and stylistic elements used in the story. The Inferno in unique in the way that it is written in first person, and describes hell as if Dante was traveling through it. Alighieri encapsulates us in this journey using symbolism to represent the sins and wrongdoings of hells. This is very prevalent from the very start of the story in Limbo. In limbo these people are neither truly in hell or in Heaven or Earth. Starting in Canto IV you see these sinners in Limbo,
“Here they find the VIRTUOUS PAGANS. They were born without the light of Christ’s revelation, and therefore cannot come into the light of GOD, but they are not tormented” (Alighieri 49).
Here in Limbo they are punished through not physical pain, but the mental torment of no hope. This symbolizes their sins, because in life these people did not harm others through thievery, or physical harm, but did lack faith and belief in god. The result of this is not being able to believe in anything and being stuck forever without faith and hope, sy...


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...er, such as war criminals or mass murderers. Lesser offenses or one time sinners are found higher up in the river. This depth is supposed to directly correspond with how much blood these people spilled in life, and now they quite literally have to swim in their sins.
Symbolism is one of the driving forces in Alighieri’s The Inferno It could be found in almost every Canto, and every Circle. Alighieri uses symbolism to both entertain and disturb, and this is what makes the Inferno so interesting and unique compared to any other piece of literature. The entire story itself is one big symbol, representing Alighieri’s life and both his political and social struggles. It is the individual symbols in each circle combined with the overarching symbol of Hell itself that make The Inferno a piece of literature like no other and cause it to be in a category all its own.

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