Divine Comedy – Pagans in Paradise Essay

Divine Comedy – Pagans in Paradise Essay

Length: 1481 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Divine Comedy – Pagans in Paradise


In the beginning when God created humanity, it was said that He created all humans in His image of goodness (Genesis 1:27). Dante then adds in his Divine Comedy that God has instilled a certain predetermined capacity of goodness in each human being as He wills, which should be utilized fully during life (Paradise 3:84). It would then be assumed, in Dantean thought, that all humans have the choice to live fully to this capacity and assume a place in heaven upon death, to fail to utilize this capacity and suffer in Hell for eternity, or to sin and seek repentance at some point in their lives, allowing them to enter Purgatory. Yet, this statement seems to have certain restrictions when we first look at Dante’s Divine Comedy. Dante’s Inferno shows virtuous pagans in the first circle of Hell and has the reader believe that one must be a Christian to enter Heaven, or Purgatory. As the reader continues into Paradise, he discovers that there are indeed some pagans who have risen to Heaven, but only because they were allowed the mercy to be baptized after death. This idea seems unjust to those who have lived sinless lives without being given the choice to embrace Christ. It is understood that direct refusal of Christianity would result in an eternity in Hell, but for those sinless and virtuous people who lived before Christ or beyond the reaches of Christian teachings, it seems absurd to deny them entrance into Heaven. With careful examination of the Divine Comedy, it can be understood that the actual act of baptism and the embracing of Jesus Christ symbolize the ideas and significance each act represents and are not intended for the reader to take these acts for their literal meanings. The presence ...


... middle of paper ...


...l salvation.

Throughout the entire work of Dante’s Divine Comedy, pagans play an integral role. Pagans are present in each of the three parts of Dante’s afterlife and a pagan is even chosen to be Dante’s guide. The prevalence of these individuals suggests the idea that God loves all people and rewards those who have embraced the ideas and morals of the Christian religion and lived virtuously and without sin. Dante’s Divine Comedy provides enough basis to form the argument that one does not necessarily have to be Christian to enter Heaven, but only needs to embrace the ideals that Christ and baptism represent. Also, through using Emperor Trajan as an example of a virtuous pagan’s successful entrance to Heaven, it is seen that possession of these ideals along with the virtue of humility is what allowed certain pagans into Paradise and excluded others for eternity.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on Dante’s, The Divine Comedy

- In Dante’s, The Divine Comedy, Virgil leads Dante through the Inferno, where Dante undergoes changes in his compassion. I am going to argue that Dante expresses less compassion during his journey when Virgil leads him through the Inferno. This essay will prove how Dante shows more feelings at the beginning of the Inferno compared to the end of the Inferno. Dante is being a coward by thinking he is unable to make his journey: I’d be too slow had I obeyed by now. You need no more declare to me your will....   [tags: analysis, the divine comedy]

Powerful Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

The Divine Comedy and the Human Experience Essay

- The Divine Comedy: The Depth of Human Experience Religious, structured, and orderly. Although this book is religious through and through, it is also very earthly. You seem to never leave the earth. In fact, there seems to be no difference between earth and the heavenly sphere. It is a solid world, no distinction between mind and matter, everything is touchable. The physical expresses the spiritual, the spirit of God is physical and pervades the physical universe--it's all one place. There is no heaven and hell, it is just all here....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays]

Free Essays
1313 words (3.8 pages)

Imaginary Journey in Dante's Divine Comedy Essay

- Imaginary Journey in Dante's Divine Comedy Dante's Divine Comedy is a moral comedy that is designed to make the readers think about their own morals. The poem could have been used almost as a guide for what and what not to do to get into Heaven for the medieval people. Dante takes the reader on a journey through the "afterlife" to imprint in the readers minds what could happen to them if they don't follow a Godlike life and to really make the reader think about where they will go when they die and where they would like to go when they die....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays]

Free Essays
1198 words (3.4 pages)

Fame and Glory in Dante's Divine Comedy Essay

-         "What is fame. Fame is but a slow decay  Even this shall pass away."  Theodore Tilton     The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri, is a poem laden with such Christian themes as love, the search for happiness, and the desire to see God. Among these Christian themes, however, is Dante's obsession with and desire for fame, which seems to be a surprising departure from conventional medieval Christian morality. Indeed, as the poem progresses, a striking contradiction emerges. Dante the writer, in keeping with Christian doctrine, presents the desire for fame and glory among the souls of Inferno in order to replace it with humility among the souls of Purgatorio....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays]

Powerful Essays
2300 words (6.6 pages)

Beatrice in Dante's Divine Comedy Essay

- Beatrice in Dante's Divine Comedy       How many people spend their whole life in love with a person they met only once when they were nine years old. Dante Alighieri, born in 1265, had only one meeting with Beatrice Portinari in 1274, making him only nine years old. By Dante's own account this was the most important event of his youth (Alighieri). When she passed away in 1290 Dante was about 25 and overcome with grief (Barbi 6). If Dante hadn't met Beatrice much of his work would have never been written....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays Dante Poem]

Powerful Essays
969 words (2.8 pages)

Dante's Divine Comedy - Symbolism in the Punishment of Sin in The Inferno

- The Symbolism in the Punishment of Sin in Dante's Inferno     Inferno, the first part of Divina Commedia, or the Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri, is the story of a man's journey through Hell and the observance of punishments incurred as a result of the committance of sin. In all cases the severity of the punishment, and the punishment itself, has a direct correlation to the sin committed. The punishments are fitting in that they are symbolic of the actual sin; in other words, "They got what they wanted." (Literature of the Western World, p.1409) According to Dante, Hell has two divisions: Upper Hell, devoted to those who perpetrated sins of incontinence, and Lower Hell, devoted to thos...   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays]

Powerful Essays
4191 words (12 pages)

Essay on Dante's Divine Comedy - Wolf Imagery in The Inferno

- Dante's Divine Comedy - Wolf Imagery in The Inferno For years, I hunger like a wolf for a study of Dante, wracked with my own kind of greediness for knowledge of Dante's vision of the journey down. This hunger is fed by my initiation and priestesshood into a mystery tradition based on teachings that date back to 14th century Italy[i]. Through the years of my involvement with this tradition, I attempt to view the world through the lens of a 14th century Italian woman, trying to understand the deeper meaning of the rituals and myths....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays]

Powerful Essays
1295 words (3.7 pages)

Beatrice in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy and the Vita Nuova Essay

- Beatrice in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy and the Vita Nuova Se quanto infino a qui di lei si dice fosse conchiuso tutto in una loda, poco sarebbe a fornir questa vice. La bellezza ch’io vidi si trasmoda non pur di lá da noi, ma certo io credo che solo il suo fattor tutta la goda” (Paradiso, XXX) In Dante and Difference, Jeremy Tambling asserts that “Beatrice is throughout dealt with in the Commedia with the assumption that she will already be a familiar figure” in order to make the point that the Commedia “is not offering itself as a single, separate, autonomous work”....   [tags: Alighieri Divine Comedy Nuova Essays]

Powerful Essays
1444 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about Wages of Sin Revealed in The Divine Comedy

- Wages of Sin Revealed in The Divine Comedy      In his poem The Divine Comedy. The Inferno, Dante Alighieri gives his audience a clear vivid presentation of what he as a follower of the Christian religion perceives to be hell. Dante shows that human sin is punishable in various degrees of severity and that this is dependent on the nature of one's sinful actions. He sets forth what could very well be the most fully developed Christian understanding of justice on earth, and that is; that what we do as human beings will determine what happens to us in the event of death based on God's judgment....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays]

Free Essays
788 words (2.3 pages)

Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy Essay

- Divine Comedy Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy is said to be the single greatest epic poem of all time. The opening story of the character of Dante the Pilgrim is told in the first of the three divisions: The Inferno. The Inferno is a description of Dante’s journey down through Hell and of the several degrees of suffering and many mythical creatures that he encounters on the way. Throughout his travel Dante displays many different feelings and actions but the emotion that summarizes the entire poem is fear....   [tags: Divine Comedy Inferno Essays]

Free Essays
1145 words (3.3 pages)