Essay on Canto V of Dante’s Inferno

Essay on Canto V of Dante’s Inferno

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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. As Dante travels through Hell, he sees sinners in increasingly more hideous and disgusting situations. For Dante, each situation is an image of the quality of any soul that is determined to sin in that particular way. The punishment of the lustful is fitting: those who were obsessed with the stimulation of the flesh in life now have their nerves unceasingly stimulated by the tempest. They are also prone and in the dark, in the manner in which lust is most often acted out.

Dante asks Virgil to name some of the individual souls for him; ...

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