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The Journey Of The Inferno Essay

2632 words - 11 pages

Everyone has a different perception of what really is heaven and hell and where people end up in the after life. Some people are not even religious and have their own personal thoughts about what is next after death. The Inferno or to be more precise “Hell” can be described and defined as a place where people end up after death in the natural world, when people have not followed God’s ways and laws of living. It is has been depicted throughout the years of time that suffering in hell is horrific, gruesome, and unimaginable. In Dante’s Inferno, Dante portrays the protagonist as he is guided by his ghostly friend Virgil the poet through the nine chambers of Hell. The transition from one ...view middle of the document...

By Virgil guiding Dante to get through each circle of the Inferno, he will receive a place in Heaven. As the journey begins, Dante comes across a beast that is willing to threaten and harm him. Dante can be depicted to the audience as frightened as he witnesses the ugly beasts. Virgil then responds back saying, “Dante cannot overcome the beasts because the she-wolf alone destroys anyone who approaches her and the beasts will remain where they are until a greyhound chases them all back to Hell, where they live” (Rudd 29). The beasts represent a fumble in the rocks to Dante, meaning that man is merely supposed to mess up and be guarded down the wrong path. “Thus the beasts most clearly represent the forces of sin that prevent everyman from reaching grace” (Rudd 10). Virgil is willing to lead Dante along another path which they will later have to encounter Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. “Hell is the realm of sinners who failed to repent” (Alcorn 82). As they reach the gateway to hell, there appears to be an inscription written: “Anyone entering the gate to “abandon all hope” (Rudd 30). It can be seen to the readers that Dante is in a state of shock as he is frightened and hesitant to enter the gates of Hell. Virgil reassures him that they will both get through safe and alive. “Dante see’s innumerable shades, all chasing a banner that eternally runs before them as they themselves are chased and tormented by swarms of flies and hornets” (Rudd 30). Dante and Virgil witness very real things as they go further into Hell. Dante is very vulnerable in his state of mind as he is witnessing all the frightening things that are happening before him. Before Dante and Virgil advance into the “real” Inferno, they have to cross the river of Acheron. Once he awakens, both Dante and Virgil enroot on the first circle of hell. The first circle appears to be funnel-shaped, and is called the Limbo. This circle is for souls who were not baptized or christened, that are hopeful one day they will make it to Heaven, but will not. Dante comes across Virgil’s poet friends: Homer, Ovid, Lucan, and Horice. This circle reveals to the readers that if you are not right with God, and do not follow his ways, you can end up in the first circle of hell, yet alone any of them which you refuse to follow.
Dante and Virgil cross some scary figures and souls as they go more submerged into Hell itself. The second circle of Hell appears to be even more tragic than the first. “As sinners approach him, Minos assigns them to the circle where they are to spend eternity, according to the number of times he wraps his tails around himself” (Rudd 35). It is clear that the deeper Dante and Virgil go the more painful sufferings they encounter along the way. It is as if the readers can understand how Dante is feeling at each moment in time, which appears to be petrified and astonished. “In Hell, existence itself is the most implacable punishment” (Jacoff 74). The second circle reveals to the readers...

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