Method To Madness. Essay

1443 words - 6 pages

When I go to hell, I hope that God is fair in my judgment and punishes me accordingly. Now, of course, my first suspicion is that I would be thrown in amongst the Sodomites (along with almost everyone else I know). Yet what remains is that, while society may most closely identify me as a Sodomite, I'd like to think that my heavier sins would hold some sort of weight in my ultimate judgment. Because it appears in hell that the heavier of your sins drags you down to a lower, worse, level of Hell. While, ideally, God would judge us as a whole, sometimes the worst of our sins make that not possible.However, if things were up to Dante, I would automatically be thrown in, no questions asked, with those who have "tendons strained by sin" (Dante 139, 114) because that is what I partake in more often than others and what I am probably most known for. In his work "The Inferno" it appears as if, at times, he places some characters in the wrong level of hell. Instead of tossing them to the level aligned with their worst sin, they are instead thrown to the level significant to their most identifying sin, the one they are most recognized for. Is it fair to award leniency to some, while damning others to suffer more?LUST. This seems to be the common thread between all those who have been sorely misplaced. Either they have lusted after someone, and their more weighted sins dragged them down, or they are in with the lustful despite their more despicable sins.The first character that seems most out of place is that of Dido. As we all know (or at least should), she was the ill fated one-time lover of Aeneas in The Aeneid. She was the ruler of a fairly new, yet wonderfully powerful and splendid nation. This was left to her by her honorable husband Sychaeus. After his death she vowed "not to marry anyone since my first love" (Virgil 83, 16-17). Huge mistake. First off she goes and "deigned to join herself to him (Aeneas), that now, in lust, forgetful of their kingdom, they take long pleasure, fondling through the winter, the slaves of squalid craving" (Virgil 89, 254-257). Basically she got nasty with Aeneas in some filthy ass cave and then as a result assumes that they are married by "the hand you pledged" (Virgil 93, 412).In Dante's Inferno, he places Dido in the Lust level. Which is highly justifiable because yes she did lust immensely, so much so that she did it in a cave. But what was worse is that she betrayed her husband and her vows. This, according to Dante's hierarchy of hell is a far worse sin than lust. Traitors to Kin is the first level in treachery we come across. Lust and betrayal are at like opposite ends of the spectrum. Dante was fully aware of both her wanton ways and betrayal "(Dido) killed herself for love, and she betrayed the ashes of Sychaeus" (Dante 43, 61). So if he was fully aware, why put her with the less damning lustful instead of the horrific Traitors to Kin. While it is easy to argue that they weren't necessarily kin since they were...

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