We learn about ancient civilizations through literature passed down from generations. The view of an afterlife is what provokes people’s immense fear and concern about the concept of death in which they express that fear in different forms. Salvation means we receive eternal life if we have a personal relationship with God. In modern day society, most people go to church to show their faith to God in thinking they get “saved”. These ancient literature goes into elaborate detail about the horrors Hell provides. The Inferno of Dante goes into detail that there is a hell and the levels inside it are different tortures people have to endure for committing a specific crime. In Virgil’s Aeneid, it gives a description of the Elysium. The Elysium is where the heroic and virtuous go to live blessedly and happily. The idea of an afterlife is one of the main factors in why today’s society attends church and worships God. The details these stories give about Hell frightens people into thinking that Hell can be that torturous. The idea of Hell has shaped today’s society for the better and worse. The stories about Heaven is a paradise filled with peace, happiness, and enjoyment. Today, people are doing more good in their lives because of their belief in God and the
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afterlives. But in spite of doing what’s right and good for its own sake, people are good because they want to go to Heaven and not the demoralizing Hell.
Dante’s Inferno gives very graphic details about the conception of an allegorical Hell. Halfway through the poet Dante’s life, he becomes lost wandering alone in a dark forest. Dante sees the spirit of the great Roman poet, Virgil. Virgil proceeds to tell Dante that before they can climb the hill they must pass through Hell and only then can they reach Heaven. Once they enter the very outer layer area of Hell called the Ante-Inferno, Dante sees the souls who didn’t commit either good or evil and for their punishment they have to pointlessly chase after a banner while hornets bite them. Minos, a demon, assigns people to their punishments by curling his tail around himself indicating the number of the Circle to which the person has to go to.
There are Nine Circles of Hell in which Dante observes. The First Circle of Hell is Limbo where Virgil and many of the other great poets go because they died without knowing of Christ. They live in an inadequate type of Heaven. Dante continues into the Second Circle of Hell, for the people who committed the sin of lust. Inside the Second Circle, Dante watches the people suffer inside a dreadful storm. In the Third Circle of Hell, the greedy souls have to lay down in dirt and mud while feces and filth rain on them. In the Fourth Circle, the materialistic and the reckless are to attack each other with huge boulders. The Fifth Circle of Hell is home to the river Styx, a disgusting gutter, the hostile souls have to lie
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underneath the Styx’s...