The Inferno By Dante Alighieri Essay

The Inferno By Dante Alighieri Essay

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“Abandon all hope ye who enter here” (The Inferno, Cantos III). This line which is inscribed above the gates of Hell, and notably one of the most iconic lines from Dante Alighieri’s, The Inferno, describes what horrors await one inside Hell. Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy, while in exile from his home and birth place, Florence. The Divine Comedy is not only a physical, but spiritual journey which consists of three parts. Part one is The Inferno where Dante journeys through Hell with his guide, the Roman poet Virgil. Part two is called, Purgatory where Dante travels through the place where the souls still have hope to enter heaven. Finally, the last part of the Comedy, is Paradise where Dante gets to see the thrown of God. The Inferno is the most famous of the three and it soon began to serve as a basis for peoples ideals of Hell. When one reads The Inferno they are taken through the many layers of hell and its punishments. The Inferno by Dante Alighieri, and its portrayal and threat of Hell, acts a moral propaedeutic to urge people to act right for many reasons.
To begin, Dante Alighieri’s vision of Hell in The Inferno, can urge people to act right by utilizing the fear of uncertainty. Dante is just like everyone else in regards to knowing absolutely nothing of Hell. It can be said that one reason that Dante wrote The Inferno was for a moral purpose. To point out to the living the error of their ways and to turn them to the path of salvation. Dante creates his own vision of Hell, but nobody knows for sure if Hell is really like he describes. It could be less violent or it could be unimaginably worse. Of course, the threat of Hell can only work if someone believes in the notion of Hell and Heaven and ultimately, if they b...


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...e, incarnates ultimate justice, which springs from divine love” (Scott). God ultimately created Hell out of love. In this statement, Dante not only creates an all loving God, but also an all-powerful God. When reading The Inferno one remembers that even though God is all loving, he is also to be feared because of the power he has. This helps to make the threat of Hell make people behave morally upright.
Clearly, the threat of Hell in The Inferno by Dante Alighieri is a moral propaedeutic to get people to behave right. The Inferno uses many elements of fear to create this threat. Fear of uncertainty, fear of pain, and the fear of god. Obviously the threat worked, considering that The Inferno is still widely well-known and more widely read than its two proceeding parts. “Dante’s The Inferno, is the greatest poetic composition of the Christian Middle Ages” (Barolini).

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The Inferno By Dante Alighieri Essay

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