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God's Justice In The Inferno By Dante Alighieri

2311 words - 9 pages

“The Inferno” was written in the early fourteenth century by Italian politician Dante Alighieri, the book is the first part of the epic poem the “Divine Comedy” and it is followed by “Purgatorio” and “Paradiso”. The book “Inferno”, which is the Italian translation for Hell, narrates the journey of its author through what he believes is Hell, consisting of nine circles of suffering underneath the earth. In his journey Dante is guided through the nine regions by the poet Virgil, who represents Human Reason, each circle in the book represents a different type of sin with a different type of punishment, varying according to the degree of offense they committed in life. In his trip through every one of these circles, Dante realizes and emphasizes the perfection of God’s Justice and the seriousness of each offense towards the creator of all life.
Certainly, Dante as a Christian realizes the perfection of God’s justice; he is able to create a connection between a soul’s sin on Earth and the punishment he or she receives in Hell. In Inferno, Dante explains that God created Hell by justice, a specific example of this, might be when he was entering the Gates of Hell, he read on the entrance of the gate the sign that said, “…Sacred Justice moved my Architect I was raised here by the Divine Omnipotence...” (Alighieri) undoubtedly, attributing the creation of Hell to God and his divine justice, and God’s divine justice is exactly what shapes Dante’s nine circles of Hell and their punishments, depending on the severity of the sin, the soul is send farther away from God and closer to the Devil.
In addition, Dante is conscious of the qualities of God, first that He is just, according to the Bible in Exodus 34:7, “...He will by no means clear the guilty” also that He is merciful “…For God is love”(Kershaw) and, in accordance with the Bible, it is also stated that God’s Justice is described as fair, when people receive justice, they receive the penalty they deserve, or they are repaid for the damages done to them, in the bible, justice is related to the Law of Moses, which the Lord gave to the people of Israel as a gift for their protection and well-being in the Old Testament of the Bible(Justice). Psalms 96: 13 tells us that “…He [God] is coming to judge all people on earth with fairness and truth.”(Kershaw)
No doubt, Dante praises God’s justice in Hell “O Sovereign Wisdom….How justly doth Thy power judge and assign!”(Alighieri) however, he will still along his journey show pity for the souls,”…how could I check my tears, when near at hand I saw the image of humanity distorted….Certainly I wept…”(Alighieri), and fear to God’s punishments“…and there we saw what fearful arts the hand of Justice knows…”(Alighieri), projecting to the reader an image of a vengeful and cruel God, who was punishing harshly all those sinners, these reactions from Dante makes Virgil scold Dante assuring him that God’s justice is divine and perfect. “Who is...

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