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Separation In Dante’s Inferno Essay

1052 words - 5 pages

When Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy, a trilogy detailing Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven in three separate poems, he was separated from his home town of Florence due to his exile. Dante wrote The Divine Comedy during his exile as an epic where all of the elements in the story could be taken as their literal meaning, but he also wrote all of the elements as religious, psychological, political, and literary allegories. The religious allegories illustrate Dante’s view about sin and God. The psychological allegories illustrate the internal conflicts within Dante. The political allegories illustrate Dante’s frustration with the government, and how the church is involved in the government. The literary allegories illustrate the structure of Dante’s poem, or they describe Dante as a poet. In the Inferno, Dante separates hell and Mount Joy into three different levels. In the highest point on Mount Joy, and in hell Dante presents a she wolf who represents avarice. In the middle section of Mount Joy and Hell, Dante presents the sin of fraud which he represents with a leopard. In the lowest part of Hell and Mount Joy, Dante presents the sin of pride which he represents with a lion.
Dante writes about a she wolf on the top of Mount Joy. The she wolf, which represents sinners that commit the sin of avarice, is as close as any sinner can get to God because she is the beast that is closest to the top of Mount Joy. The first seven circles in Hell deal with the sin of avarice. The location of the she wolf and avarice represent how avarice is a mild sin in comparison to fraud and betrayal, and that people who commit these sins can still see God’s divine light. Dante placed avarice as the least of the sins, because the sins that Dante is guilty of such as lust are categorized under avarice, so Dante feels like he should not be severely punished. In the avarice circles of Hell, Dante placed people who opposed him in politics whom he felt were power hungry and greedy. Filippo Argenti, Dante’s greatest political enemy is punished for his avarice because his greed turned him into a angry and sullen man when he fought over control of Florence. Dante spread the sin of avarice over seven different circles when he was writing the Inferno as a way to show that Hell might have different section, but that they are not all equal. More people commit the sin of avarice than fraud or betrayal, so Dante wrote more in depth about the sin of avarice because it involves more people. The she wolf and avarice are separate sins from fraud and betrayal, but they act as the foundation for the two later sections of Mount Joy and Hell.
A leopard is located between the top and the bottom of Mount Joy, and it represents fraud. The sins related to Fraud are located in Circle Eight between the sins of avarice and betrayal. Those whom commit the sin of fraud are punished more severely than people...

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