The Violence Of Dante's Inferno Essay

694 words - 3 pages

In Dante Alighieri’s Inferno there is an abundant amount of violence shown in many ways. Literary critics say that violence does not appear in readings for its own sake, which is proven throughout The Inferno. As the levels of Hell increase, the severity of violence does so as well. This violence occurs in many ways, sometimes mentally, sometimes physically and many times both combined. Some people may not enjoy the book for its violence, however, the violence of Dante’s Inferno contributes to the dark theme and mood of the book, showing Alighieri’s meaning even more.
In Canto 4, Circle One, there is a great example of mental violence towards the sinners. Virgil explains to Dante the punishment of the Virtuous Pagans in this Canto, “For such defects are we lost, though spared the fire and suffering Hell in one affliction only: that without hope we live on desire” (III. 40-43). Virgil has excessive knowledge of this circle because of the fact that before Beatrice sent him to Dante, he lived among these sinners in a group of poets. Virgil’s words explain that the Virtuous Pagans go through eternity lacking all hope. They lack hope of new life, forgiveness, and even God. Their lack of hope attacks their minds just as brutally as physical violence attacks the body.
Physical violence is shown in Canto 13, Circle Seven: Round Two; The Violent Against Themselves. This circle where the suicides reside, making the level known as “The Wood of Suicides”. The souls are turned into trees for the rest of eternity, being denied a human form. These souls are also denied a voice, except through their own blood. The Harpies, a mythological creature, constantly rips and tears at the human-trees. When they do this, they cause the trees to bleed, which in turn allows them to speak. Although they are in tree form, they still feel all of the pain that comes along with the violence of the Harpies. In Dante’s mind, this is showing that no matter how bad life may...

Find Another Essay On The Violence of Dante's Inferno

Analysis of Dante's Inferno

803 words - 3 pages In Dante’s Inferno, Dante is taken on a journey through hell. On this journey, Dane sees the many different forms of sins, and each with its own unique contrapasso, or counter-suffering. Each of these punishments reflects the sin of a person, usually offering some ironic way of suffering as a sort of revenge for breaking God’s law. As Dante wrote this work and developed the contrapassos, he allows himself to play God, deciding who is in hell and

The Comparison of Dante's Inferno and the Purgatorio

1332 words - 5 pages The Comparison of Dante's Inferno and the Purgatorio There are many differences in the Inferno and the Purgatorio of Dante Alghieri, from the differences in atmosphere and attitude, darkness and light, between sins and their punishments as well as the characters of the Comedy. My purpose is to shed light on what I found to be interesting differences of the two. I would like to begin with the comparison of the coming of the old men in both

Dante's Inferno and The Afterlife

2336 words - 9 pages long been popular as a vehicle for satire.”(Encyclopædia Britannica) This statement about Dante’s Inferno and its allegories expresses how influential the writings of Dante would be throughout history. His writing left its mark on western literature and created a new, and ironic, view of hell and life after death. Similar to the other punishments, the seventh circle expresses the consequence of violence in several different forms in order to

The Contrapasso in Dante's "Inferno"

955 words - 4 pages The Contrapasso in Dante's InfernoCircle of the MalevolentAs we enter, I immediately felt ill from the humidity and indispictable odour of burnt flesh that fills the air. The walls and grounds are covered with big pearls, dripping with a thick substance of the colour red. With a further glance, I realize each pearl has a dark circle on its surface and these are eyeballs. An endless line of naked sinners stand close by along the circular path

Dante's Inferno: The Theme of Anti-love in Canto XXVIII

1643 words - 7 pages Dante’s Divine Comedy is a multi-layered epic, containing not only a story about his incredibly difficult journey from earth to the depths of hell then up to the peaks of heaven, but it also contains many insights on theology, politics, and even his own life. Broken into three canticles—Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso—the work is written in the terza rima form. In Inferno—in 33 Cantos—Dante makes a vast journey through the nine circles of

Specificity of Punishment in Dante's Inferno

1595 words - 6 pages One of the most famous and often used lines from Dante's Inferno comes from the inscription found above the gates of Hell. It speaks of enduring suffering eternally, and warns the condemned to "abandon every hope" (Canto III.9). Although God fashioned these gates Himself, the inscription seems to imply that He has no power in Hell. The condemned are warned not to hold out hope for anything, including the hand of God Himself. Although it could be

The Beasts and Monsters in Dante's Inferno

3058 words - 12 pages , providing the only transportation between the sins of violence in the seventh circle to the sins of fraud in the 'malebolge'.  Geryon is the most intricately described of all the beasts in Inferno, which is significant as he represents the intricacies of fraud.  He is summoned by Dante's "corda", which links him immediately with the leopard of Canto I, as Dante tells the reader that,             ..con essa pensai alcuna volta

Divine Comedy - The Trinity in Dante's Inferno

2281 words - 9 pages The Trinity in The Inferno        Dante's Inferno, itself one piece of a literary trilogy, repeatedly deploys the leitmotif of the number three as a metaphor for ambiguity, compromise, and transition. A work in terza rima that details a descent through Nine Circles of Hell, The Inferno encompasses temporal, literary, and political bridges and chasms that link Dante's inspired Centaur work between the autobiographical and the fictive

St. Augustine in the Dante's Inferno

1166 words - 5 pages Augustine in the InfernoIt is hard to place St. Augustine within just one of the levels of Dante's hell for his sins were varied and not great. Today many of his sins are common place. For example, most people attempt to better their own lives without regard of others. They attempt to increase their standard of living and gain more worldly possessions. They are neither good nor evil but are just trying to make a living and keep up in today's

Spiritual Growth in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer's Odyssey, and Dante's Inferno

2026 words - 8 pages For centuries, authors have been writing stories about man's journey of self-discovery. Spanning almost three-thousand years, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer's Odyssey, and Dante's Inferno are three stories where a journey of self-discovery is central to the plot. The main characters, Gilgamesh, Telemachus, and Dante, respectively, find themselves making a journey that ultimately changes them for the better. The journeys may not be

The Role of Satan in Dante's Inferno and Specifically in Paradise Lost

2432 words - 10 pages The source of all evil, a terrifying entity, and the adversary of God in an eternal war for the souls of mankind, Satan is often put forward as a powerful “other,” having little in common with those he tempts and torments. For example, in Dante’s Inferno, Satan is massive, strong and beast-like, chained like Cerberus in Hell for the punishment of mankind, chewing on the bodies of history’s greatest traitors like a vicious dog. Milton's relatable

Similar Essays

Dante's Inferno: The Levels Of Hell

1244 words - 5 pages Dante's Inferno: The Levels of Hell Level One According to Dante, there are various levels in hell. The first level in Hell is called Limbo. All the individuals who die before being baptized and those who live as virtuous pagans are condemned to spend the rest of eternity at this level. The people being referred to in this level are those who die before accepting Christianity. All the individuals who die non-Christians, including philosophers

The Contrapasso Of Caiaphas In Dante's Inferno

642 words - 3 pages In Canto XXIII of Dante's Inferno, the hypocrites, especially Caiaphas, provide an excellent example of Divine Justice as contrapasso. The hypocrites presented their ideas as pure and good, while in reality, they did not act according to their supposed morality or practice the virtues that they preached. Because in life, the hypocrites said one thing and did another, their heavy garments seem one thing and are, yet another. The ornate

The Structure And Content Of Dante's Inferno

1119 words - 4 pages Master, Dante eulogizes the beauty of human reason, truth, and virtue. Moreover, such belief in human reason signifies Dante's hope towards a bright society and the pursuit of God’s love as the other part of self-reflection. In conclusion, a great deal of tension and contrast between “dark” and “light” in The Inferno helps us to explore Dante’s self portrait—he fears dangerous desires and sinful darkness, but shows much courage and hope towards

Dante's The Inferno Essay

939 words - 4 pages The Inferno is the first part of Dante Alighieri's poem, the "Divine Comedy", which chronicles Dante's journey to God, and is made up of the "Inferno" (Hell), "Purgatorio" (Purgatory), and "Paradiso" (Paradise). In Dante's Inferno, Dante Alighieri, expresses his views on sin, the punishments of hell, and redemption. He does this through the main characters of Dante and Virgil. Dante is taken by Virgil on a journey through Hell, Purgatory and