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Iliad’s Dilemmas With The Definition Of Piety

1306 words - 6 pages

In the Inferno, Dante presented a remarkable view of hell by taking a journey through the nine circles of it with his guide Virgil. Throughout this journey, they met several souls and people who are in charge of each circles of hell. One person in particular that they met throughout the journey was Minos, who is the person that decides which souls should be sent for torment. Upon their encounter, Minos warns Dante to "watch where you go/once you have entered here, and to whom you turn! /Do not be misled by that wide and easy passage!" (V. 18-20). Based on three of Dante's encounters with souls in Hell, this warning is unnecessary. Three encounters that prove this are in the following Cantos ...view middle of the document...

/ I come from the blessed height for which I yearn. / Love called me here. When amid Seraphim” (II 70-72). This quote confirms that Beatrice trust Virgil to help Dante and as a result, Virgil will assist Dante to hell by showing him the right way. Therefore, Minos warning was unnecessary because neither Beatrice nor Virgil deceived Dante. Instead they provided assistance to him so that he can watch where he is going once he entered hell. Thus, Dante did not have to watch whom he turned to and was not misled by the passage to hell since he has a guide to show him the way.
Moreover, in the third Canto, Dante came across Charon when he was crossing the first river to hell. By encountering Charon, shows another example as to why the warning Minos gives Dante was unnecessary. At first Charon refused to let Dante across the river of hell because he saw that Dante is a living human being and not a dead soul. However, Virgil clarifies the journey to Charon, by saying that they are willed to do this and what is willed must occurs. Thus, Charon let them through the river, even though it is shown he do not want to. This is revealed in the following quote: “The steersman of that march of souls, /who wore a wheel of flame around each eye, / stifled the rage that shook his woolly jowls” (III 94-96). By refusing to let Dante cross the river at first, confirms that he was not being lied to by Charon. In fact, Charon is telling him the truth that going through the river and going to hell is not a safe thing to do if you are a living soul. Therefore, Dante should keep away from the dead. Virgil even confirmed this by saying that “No soul in Grace comes ever to this crossing; / therefore if Charon rages at your presence/ you will understand the reason for his cursing” (III 124-126). Overall, this quote proves that Minos warning was unnecessary because in this Cantos, Dante did not had to watch when he entered the river of hell and whom he turned to since Charon gave Dante a first impression on what to expect in hell. By giving Dante this impression, Charon is symbolically telling Dante not to be misled by the passage towards hell.
Furthermore, as Dante is passing through the first circle of hell, which is Limbo in Canto four, he meets Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan, who are the great poets of all time. By meeting these poets depicts a third example as to why Minos warning was unnecessary. The reason why it is unnecessary is because the poets helped Dante and Virgil through their journey to Limbo by guiding them...

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