Inside Inferno Essay

1551 words - 7 pages

Inferno is only a piece of a much larger story written by Dante Alighieri. The entire story is called the Divine Comedy, which is composed of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Together these three pieces tell the story of Dante's journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise; something that is easily discernible through reading the titles of each part. Dante wrote these poems somewhere around the year 1300. Originally written in what Dante referred to as Latin, there have been many different translations of his Divine Comedy. This has cause some variations in small details of the text, but the main story has stayed the same. Dante was highly involved in some political conflicts at the time ...view middle of the document...

It goes to show that God created everything with love. This could make the reader question as to why God would create such an evil place as Hell out of love. This is just the very beginning of Dante's journey. He has yet to even step foot into Hell and see some of the harsh punishments that are held within it. As Dante is about to get attacked by some wild animals he is saved by Virgil who was an ancient Roman poet and an idol of Dante's. “'For I am Beatrice who send you on; I come from where I most long to return; Love prompted me, that Love which makes me speak."” (Inf. II, 70-72) Virgil tells Dante this shortly after he meets him. It is saying that he is sent by Beatrice to help him on his journey. It shows that Dante's love is definitely not a one sided affair.
After being saved by his idol and having a conversation with him it is finally time for Dante to enter Hell. As Dante and Virgil approach the gates they can start to read the inscription written above them. “THROUGH ME THE WAY INTO THE SUFFERING CITY, THROUGH ME THE WAY TO THE ETERNAL PAIN, THROUGH ME THE WAY THAT RUNS AMONG THE LOST. JUSTICE URGED ON MY HIGH ARTIFICER; MY MAKER WAS DIVINE AUTHORITY, THE HIGHEST WISDOM, AND THE PRIMAL LOVE. BEFORE ME NOTHING BUT ETERNAL THINGS ABANDON EVERY HOPE, WHO ENTER HERE. These words – their aspect was obscure – I read inscribed above a gateway” (Inf. III, 1-11) These words are inscribed on the Gates of Hell. It says right there that Hell was created by the Primal Love, which is God. This again brings up the question as to why would God create such an evil place to punish people if he loved all of his children. That is a great thing about writing about a subject such as Hell. It allows the author to ask very tough questions in the background of his writing without making it the main focus of the text.
This is the start of Dante's journey through Hell. The Hell that Dante writes about is composed of nine different circles with each circle holding a different punishment for a different category of sinners. With each circle being consecutively worse than the one before it. Limbo is the first circle in Dante's Hell. It is the place where the people who were born before Christ and had no chance to be saved by him reside. This was where Virgil was originally before he was sent to guide Dante. The punishment in this circle is relatively very mild compared to some of the other punishments seen throughout Hell. The ninth and innermost circle is reserved for those who have betrayed someone. This circle has four different rings as well depending on who the sinner betrayed. In the very center of this is where Lucifer is. He is a three headed beast who is frozen up to his waist in ice. He is chewing on a different person in each of his heads. In one he has Judas who had betrayed Jesus Christ. In the other two he has Cassius and Brutus who betrayed Julius Caesar. This works well with the theme too. It shows that even in Hell there is no greater sin than...

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