Contrapasso in Dante’s Inferno

The term contrapasso describes the relationship between a person’s sins and the punishment they receive in Hell. It determines a specific punishment for each sinner based off of their sins, rather than them just burning in Hell. The contrapasso is an important factor in Inferno from The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.

Throughout Inferno, Virgil and Dante are exploring the Nine Circles of Hell, where they see the contrapasso at work. Every circle they visit, there are sinners being punished for the sins they committed. The punishment they receive is directly proportional to their sins. Dante and Virgil begin their journey through Hell by entering through the Gates. Once they enter, they visit the Second Circle of Hell, the Second Ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell, the Ninth Bolgia of the Eighth Circle, the First Ring of the Ninth Circle of Hell, and the Fourth Ring of the Ninth Circle of Hell. During this expedition, they see the contrapasso in full force, while watching the sinners suffer in their sins.

Dante and Virgil start their trip by entering the Gates of Hell, where Minos is determining which Circle the sinners belong to. As soon as they enter, they begin to hear the cries and screams of the sinners who did not commit to good or evil. These sinners lived their lives without making sensible and honorable choices, which means they cannot be accepted into Heaven nor Hell. These sinners will forever be stuck outside the Gates of Hell, where they must run after a banner forever while being tormented by flies and hornets. This is an example of contrapasso because the sinners that did not take a side during the war in Heaven have to forever suffer by never going to Heaven or Hell.

Once Dante and Virgil make it into the Gates of Hell, they go to the Second CIrcle where the lustful are being punished. These sinners are being whirled around in wind and rain helplessly. They ask Francesca if she would tell them her story of how she ended up in the Second Circle, and she does. She tells then how she was married to a deformed old man, then fell in love with Paolo da Rimini, who was her husband’s younger brother. One day, he and Paolo were reading the legend about the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, which is when they began to fall and love. When they go to the most romantic part of the story, they began to kiss.

Francesca’s husband quickly found out what was happening and had the two killed. Now Francesca and Paolo must spend eternity in the Second Circle of Hell. This is an example of contrapasso because these lovers were carried away by their passion, so their punishment is to forever drift in the wind.

Later during Dante and Virgil’s journey, they visit the Second Ring of the Seventh Circle, which is a big forest of black bumpy trees. Dante hears screaming like people are suffering, but he cannot see any sinners in sight. Virgil then tells Dante to snap a limb off one of the trees, and when he does, the tree cries out in pain as blood flows town its trunk. This Circle is an example of contrapasso because the sinners here were victims of suicide and squandering. They have been turned into trees so they when one of their branches is broke, they feel the same pain that their family and friends felt when they left. When it is time for the sinners to reunite with their souls, these sinners will not fully reunite with theirs because they abandoned them voluntarily. Instead, the sinners bodies will hang on their trees’ branches, forcing themselves to see their human form that they deserted.

Farther along in the story, Virgil leads Dante to the Ninth Pouch of the Eighth Circle, where sinners who have split political bodies and churches. Contrapasso comes into play here when the sinners are split in half by a devil. The sinners have to continuously walk in a circle, where they pass by the devil, who splits them open. By the time their wounds heal, they are already back to the devil, who splits them open once again. This punishment continues on for eternity. Them being split apart is their punishment because they once were the ones doing the splitting.

Toward the end of Dante and Virgil’s trip, they enter into the Ninth and final Circle of Hell which is made up of four rings. Dante and Virgil enter into the first ring, where they approach the lake Cocytus. This lake is significant because under the frozen top layer, the bodies of sinners who were traitors to their families are there. The First Ring is named Caina after the bible character Cain, who killed his brother Abel. In this Ring, contrapasso is present because the sinners are frozen away from God, facing an everlasting numb because they were numb to repent of their crimes.

The last example of contrapasso in Dante’s Inferno, is when Dante and Virgil enter into the Fourth Ring of the Ninth Circle of Hell. This Ring is named Judecca and Satan is located here. Every sinner that is located in this Ring is completely frozen in the lake, unable to move of speak, contorted into many different shapes as part of their punishment. The sinners that are banished to the Fourth Ring are there for being accused of treachery to their masters. Contrapasso is present in the Fourth Ring because they are fully frozen in the lake unable to speak, since the words they said while they were on earth were false and full of lies. The icy lake symbolizes how they rejected God during their life, as well as their masters, so now they are cold forever. During their life on earth, they rejected the light of God, so they will be in darkness forever.

Contrapasso is a major element that made Dante’s Inferno the epic poem that it is. Contrapasso is what determined how the Circles of Hell were laid out and what occurred in them. The sinners sins determined which Circle they went to, and contrapasso was the reasoning behind what their punishment was.

About Dante’s Inferno

In the Inferno, Dante describes a journey where he saw hell, purgatory and paradise. He began to write about this starting at the gates of hell. Hell is described as a series of layers/circles descending towards Satan.

Each of the circles represents a different type of sin; the outer circle is for the least serious sinners and the inner circle where Satan contains the worst sinners. In Dante’s expedition, he sees many noble people in the modern world from Roman history, pre-Socratic philosophers and important people from the church. The Inferno gives an exciting yet horrifying insight into the true origin, nature and culmination of Sin. By elaborating on these three elements of sin, readers can have a better understanding of Dante’s Hell.

The true origin of sin comes from the creation of the world, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. George Stevens a theologian states, Though one’s disobedience the many were made sinners. (Stevens, 592). Humans were guilty of the sin Adam and Eve committed and were condemned for it. Human freedom was lost, and the origin of evil has been embedded in human essence. Even though humans were condemned for it, it is up to each human person to make their decision. Sin is like a desire, but if a person does not have a strong will that is when the person commits the sin, because they cannot reason, their desire is stronger than their will. The people that sin consequently are people that have fallen so deep that they do not want to be close to God but rather they want to be like God. They think they can overcome the authority of God.

In the beginning of the Inferno, there is a brilliant introduction to the presence of sin. The description of sin is considered carnal, and in the dark woods Dante is wandering through, he is trying to save himself from a life of sin. In the Inferno, Dante tries to climb out of Hell by himself, but he cannot do it alone. He makes his way back the hill and that is where he meets three beasts. The three beasts are allegories of the three different sins: the leopard, the lion and the wolf, but from all three the wolf was the most dangerous which represents avarice.

The three beasts ride him back and there he meets Virgil. In order to achieve virtue, Dante needs help, and Virgil comes to Dante as a salvation. Virgil escorts Dante along the journey through hell. As Dante and Virgil get closer to the gates of hell the most horrifying sign reads, abandon all hope, you who enter here (Canto III, line 9). Dante overhears cacophony sounds and those are the sinners in hell moaning in pain. Dante states, Now sighs, loud wailing, lamentation resounded through the starless air, so that I too began to weep (Canto III, line 22).

Dante’s problem is that he feels pity for the sinners and he needs to stop feeling pity for them.

In order to save his own soul from hell, he has to reject sin completely. His journey is a major aspect to the Inferno, the change he is going to go through will be a big part for his salvation, because he is also a sinner. He thinks God is wrong for punishing the sinners but later through his journey he agrees to the punishments they receive.

Humans satisfy themselves in a wide variety of sins, and in Dante’s version of Hell there are various levels that represent the different types of sin. Nice circles of sin are described in the Inferno, and the order of the circles are limbo, lust, gluttony, avarice, wrath, heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. Treachery are the sinners that sin against God, and they are located at the bottom where the frozen Lake Cocytus contains Satan. The souls living there are frozen. Some of those souls were spiritually frozen even before their death. Innocent humans can be persuaded into a world of evil and sin. The sinners take the other people with them. Sinners are not damned into hell just because of insignificant matters, but rather due to lives that were built on a foundation of sin. An example of habitual sin is the story of Paolo and Francesca. The two lovers spend their lives on an adulterous affair for seven years. They repeatedly gave into temptation and lust. When speaking to Dante, Francesca recalls the first kiss she had with Paolo:

When we read how the longed-for smile was kissed by so renowned a lover, this man, who never shall be parted from me, all trembling kissed me on my mouth (Canto V, line 133).

Dante admired their love, but it was a sin. This is the perfect example of corrupt habits and lust.

Each individual circle of sin reveals the culmination of whatever sin that circle represents. One of the defining features of the poem is that each sinner’s punishment matches their crime. Those in the upper level of Hell do not receive as harsh a punishment as those who are in the lower circles of Hell. The upper levels have punishments like burning sand for their homosexual desires, but the ones in the lower levels had horrifying punishments, because their punishments are now physical. In the ninth circle, which is the Lake of Cocytus, people are frozen because they are very close to Satan. The worst thing is that all of the sinners do not even repent for what they did.

In conclusion, the essence of sin in the Inferno is expressed by three factors: origin, nature, and culmination. To better understand the reality of sin, the reader must take a firm grasp of each. Susan Blow an educator who studied Dante states, The Divina Commodia is the outcome of a profound and exhaustive reflection upon the facts of the moral world. Based on these facts of the moral world we live in The Divina Commodia came to existence. (Blow, 123). One final theme in the Inferno that we ought to note is the amazement when Dante sees people in Hell, people who he thought were innocent but were actually sinners. People have dark secrets that only they know but will soon pay. Dante’s view of the sinner progressively changes throughout his journey. At the end of his journey Dante feels no pity for them. In fact, he physically punishes one by kicking him in the head. Dante is grateful for Vigil and he refer to him as his mentor. He knew he could not have witnessed and moved through without the help of Virgil. Virgil almost always was able to overcome the bad spirits, and that made it possible for them to continue through their journey. Dante finishes his journey through Hell, and he determines his soul is not ready for salvation. Therefore, he decides he will continue his journey through Purgatory.

Works Cited

  1. Alighieri, Dante. The Inferno. Translated by Robert Hollander and Jean Hollander, Doubleday, 2002.
  2. Blow, Susan E. Dantes’s Inferno. The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, vol. 18, no. 2, 1884, pp. 121“138. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25668010.
  3. Stevens, George B. The Doctrine of Sin. The American Journal of Theology, vol. 8, no. 3, 1904, pp. 588“592. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3153892.

The Biblical Connection in Dante’s Inferno

In the epic poem The Inferno, Dante conveys the biblical message of paying for your sins with a punishment that fits the crime committed. Essentially the eye for an eye principle can be seen as Dante travels, guided by infamous writer Virgil, through the circles of Hell. The effect religion has on Dante is evident throughout the epic as he mentions people and punishes them to a specific circle he deems fit.

The textual relationship between the Bible and The Inferno is what engages the reader to the text and makes this such a timeless piece of literature. The connection between Dante’s actual life and then transforming elements into his fictional life engages the reader by allowing them to share a piece of the story through the biblical element that most can relate to or at least understand. The impact of the religious aspect signifies the influence religion had on this time period and how it can enhance a piece of text.

Dante uses an extended version of the Seven Deadly Sins of the Bible as the different circles of hell that categorizes people based on the sin and the extent to which they committed it. He designates how each of the sins should be punished and the order in which to do so (Wenzel 1). The circles of hell begin with the Ante-Inferno; which is where people that aren’t bad nor good are because Heaven and Hell rejected their entry. This is where the neutral angels are that did not choose a side in the war that divided Heaven reside. As Dante then travels and arrives at the first circle known as Limbo and he learns that this is where souls that weren’t baptized or were alive before the formation of Christianity reside. Tell me, my teacher, tell me, O my master, I began (wishing to have confirmed by him the teachings of unerring Christian doctrine), did any ever leave hereI was a novice in this place when I saw a mighty lord descend to us who wore the sign of victory as his crown. (Alighieri 1065). In this excerpt Dante is questioning Viril if he knows famous old testament figures were taken out of the first circle because technically, they preceded the founding of Christianity. The biblical characters mentioned include Abel, Noah, Moses, and King David. Virgil confirms that Christ did indeed provide salvation to those of his followers that were in Hell. This brings up a controversial part of Christian theology with a concept known as the Harrowing of Hell. This event describes the time after the crucifixion and before the resurrection of Jesus in which he visited Hell to reclaim his beloved followers from the Old Testament (Burstein 1).

Although there is no specific mention of this event in the Bible, theologist infer from verse Peter 4:6 in the New Testament, which states “good tidings were proclaimed to the dead”, that Christ brought those followers that were dead in Hell up to Heaven. As the circles continue Dante and Virgil go through the second and third circle which comprise of Lust and Gluttony. The fourth circles is focused on the sin of Greed. For their punishment, the sinners must push heavy weights around a dug up ring in agony. Dante again ponders about the people that are in the circle and Virgil reveals that most of them are Clergymen and Popes in the Catholic Church. The Bible describes the sin of Greed as a sin of desire and the pursuit of material possessions. There is an obvious criticism of the Catholic church and can even be extended to include universalizing religions as being corrupt. By placing the Clergymen in this circle it shows his perspective of Church officials being too consumed with power and material possessions instead of focusing on the religious aspect itself. Since they do hold power in the church, it is interesting to see them placed in Hell and it must signify that the sins they committed overcame their good works and was still enough to land them in the fourth circle. When he reaches the Fifth circle, which is comprised of the wrathful, people here are again punished for their sins in a way that fits the deeds they committed. This biblical theme of justice for your wrong doings is an outlet for Dante to articulate that there are consequences for the crimes committed in their life. As an example Dante mentions the character Filippo Argenti, who he knew in his actual life. Filippo Argenti was a prominent Florentine politician who confiscated Dante’s property after his expulsion from Florence. By placing him in Hell, Dante is essentially getting revenge for the wrong that he did against him. Since Dante couldn’t physically do anything to harm Argenti literarily, he could tarnish his reputation for generations to come. Again, going back to the principle of justice for those who sin, Dante expresses through the story how he believes certain people should get punished according to the wrongdoings they committed against Dante himself.

As the story continues, the circles of Hell continue to match the sins committed. These include the sins of Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery. Each have an important impact on the journey and reveal Dante’s interpretation of the sin and the punishment to fit. The aspect of Christianity and what it means to Dante and how it is portrayed to him is what the whole epic consists of. Because Dante was such a strong believer in the Christian/ Catholic faith (Lowell 20), Inferno can be viewed in the perspective of a faithful Christian and what they imagine the journey through Hell to consist of. Dante uses his knowledge and actual biblical text as an integral part of his own text and to enhance by a consideration the referential context of the Bible and the Inferno (Kleinhenz 1). But this also opens up the possibility that although Inferno is representative of the Christian faith it is also a criticism of it. By making Hell so extreme and the punishments so obscure and savage it shows the different side of Christianity that is not often portrayed. The extremity of the aspects of Hell is what can be viewed as preposterous. Again going back to the area known as Limbo. According to Dante, anyone that wasn’t baptized was sentenced to be in Limbo. This is a perfect example of exceedingly critical view of Christianity and the people allowed to go to Heaven. Essentially, the viewpoint is that only morally correct Christians are allowed into Heaven, which obviously upsets Dante and could possibly why he placed important Biblical figures in this circle to show how the rules would have to apply to all (Quinones 3).

The pronounced use of Biblical references in Inferno enhances the theme of afterlife and what damnation actually consists of. By using real biblical events and people it allows readers to have textual example of the justice that comes when a person commits a sin and the punishment they must endure. But at the same time, the undeniable use of extreme consequences opens up the possibility that Dante is insulting the corruption of the Catholic church’s principles. Overall, Dante’s connection made between the Bible and the Inferno gives the text a more integral meaning and sets up the rest of the Divine Comedy, continuing with his path to Heaven.

Dante Introduces Three Beasts In The Inferno

In The Inferno, Dante introduces three beasts, which each individually represent a different symbolic meaning. They do, however, share a collective symbolic meaning, too. The three beasts are the lion, the leopard, and the she-wolf. Collectively, these three beasts share a symbolic meaning in that they represent all of man’s sins. Individually, the leopard represents fraud, the lion represents violence, and the she-wolf represents incontinence.

The three beasts in The Inferno collectively share a symbolic meaning in representing all of man’s sins. The beasts collectively represent all of man’s sins, but they also display individual meanings, too.

Dante first uses the leopard to represent sins of malice and fraud. He explains that the leopard uses its spots as disguise when it is around its prey. Then when the prey least expects it, the leopard strikes. This trait of the leopard is used to show fraud in humans. Dante explains that people who are frauds usually come across differently. They normally present themselves as trustworthy people, rather than revealing that they are not. In the beginning of Canto XVII, Dante refers to a monster named Geryon. He states that “His face was the face of any honest man, / it shone with such a look of benediction; / and all the rest of him was serpentine” (Canto XVII 10-12). Here, Dante is referring to Satan, who represents fraud for Christians, and describes him as a snake. The viciousness of Satan is something that can be comparable to the leopard. The next beast that is encountered on the path is the lion.

After the leopard, Dante uses the lion to show sins of both violence and ambition. He explains how lions tend to satisfy their own needs by any means, regardless of how violent the needs are. If a lion needs food, it will get food by being violent and ambitious. Lions fear no other animal, and they tend to be very aggressive. Dante shows how lions represent sins of violence and ambition due to their aggressive behavior. He shows that lions are comparable to humans in this aspect because some people become aggressive and violent when they need something. The she-wolf is the third and last beast that is encountered.

The last animal that Dante encounters on his trail is a she-wolf. He uses this beast to represent incontinence, adultery, and lust. She-wolves tend to be mysterious creatures and hunt in packs, which may be why Dante used it as the third beast. The sins listed above are sins that are irresistable. This means that if someone were to commit one of these sins, they are bound to follow up with another. The irresistible nature of she-wolves goes along with the irresistible nature of humans when committing these sins.

Dante does a good job in using three beasts to represent different sins. He also uses the three beasts to show a collective symbolic meaning. The beasts represent fraud, violence, and incontinence, and together they represent all of man’s sins.

Dante’s Representation of Women and the Ideal Woman in the Inferno

When researching the ideal woman nowadays, every website provides scientific studies and cultural research, which all point to the same results: that men prefer a small waist, long legs, and a large chest, with nothing about the woman’s personality characteristics. One of the most compelling facets of the Inferno can be the portrayal of females by Dante Alighieri. He paints the picture of the quintessentially perfect female through the character Beatrice.

She serves as the stimulus in The Divine Comedy. Through the guidance of the Virgin Mary, St. Lucia convinced Beatrice to send an angelic messenger to Virgil to convince him to direct Dante on his expedition into the netherworld and through the different levels of Hell. In this way, Beatrice may be discerned as Dante’s guardian angel and protector. It is Beatrice’s adoration for Dante that lights the way for him to leave the Dark Woods of Error and enter God’s light. Because of Dante’s love and affection for Beatrice, she characterizes his ideal female, and thereby becomes the standard by which he compares all other women which is shown by his descriptions of the female sinners, those who were harmed by other people’s sins, and the demons of the underworld.

Beatrice is only in the Inferno for a short while, since such divine beings only exist outside of the boundaries of Hell, which is described as a corrupt, twisted version of the hierarchy depicted in Heaven. Since Beatrice is deemed by Dante as the perfect model of femininity, all of the feminine creatures that Dante encounters in Hell are essentially her antithesis. In the second circle of Hell: the Realm of the Lustful, Dante encounters historically infamous lovers along with a couple from his own world, Paolo and Francesca. It is in Francesca’s tale of their love, which the reader can see the deviation between the female occupants of Hell with Beatrice, the exemplary female. Francesca describes their history as:

Love, which in gentlest hears will soonest bloom seized my lover with passion for that sweet body from which I was torn unshriven to my doom (v. 97-99).

In her tale, the reader can see a greater concentration on the physical characteristics of love, whereas the love of Beatrice for Dante can be described as a pure, divine love. The difference in the types of love that the two couples share is ultimately drawn down two what their love was rooted in. The love Francesca hold for Paolo was cultivated through weakness, the temptation of her body, which damns her and her lover to Hell where they are to be eternally flooded by wind. However, Beatrice’s love for Dante is rooted in holiness, which helps her guide him on his own road into the light of God.

Dante also encounters a female character in the eighth circle of Hell, the flatterer Thais, as she resides in poverty for her sins. Unlike Francesca, whose weakness was her temptation, Thais’ sin was one of her own intellect. She devalued the station of women in society by her rejection of the feminine ideal and by treating herself and womankind as filth, she was sentenced to decay in filth in her afterlife.

Dante not only juxtaposes the feminine ideal with sinners, but also with those who were sinned against. It is in the eighth circle of Hell in which we find those which sinned against women, panderers and seducers. It is here where Dante finds Venedico Caccianemico, who prostituted Ghisola, his sister, in order to gain political favor, as well as Jason, who was the adulterous spouse of Medea and seducer Hypsiplye. It is the men of this circle which repudiated and warped the feminine ideal. During the Middle Ages, in which Dante lived, prostitution was a common activity and women usually held the blame for acts of adultery. The way Dante respects and views women didn’t become a common viewpoint for a couple more decades during the Renaissance.

The deviation between the feminine inhabitants of the underworld and Beatrice is not only visible in the human sinners as many of the demons which Dante encounters also represent a reverted form of the feminine ideal. Dante encounters the three Erinyes, or Furies, close to the Gate of Dis where they guard a tower. As opposed to Beatrice’s serene, quiet personality, Dante describes the Erinyes as heliish and inhumane (ix. 34) as their claws tear at their own chests, with horned serpents [that grow] from their heads (ix 37-38). With their looks and actions being so far away from his representation of the perfect female, he seems unsure himself as to whether they are actually female, however he bases his conjecture of their femininity based on their limbs and gestures (ix 35). It is when they see him and call Medusa to turn him into stone that an angelic messenger, thought to be sent by Beatrice, comes to protect him from Medusa’s deadly gaze and lets Virgil and Dante pass safely through the gates of Dis.

Although not specifically identified as female characters in the Inferno, the harpies, kin to the Erinyes, are commonly portrayed as having the face of a woman and the body of a bird in literature. Dante describes these monstrous creatures in which: Their wings are wide, their feet clawed, their huge bellies/ covered with feathers, their necks and faces human (xiii. 13-14). As inhabitants of the Wood of Suicides, the harpies survive off of the leaves of the trees and have to impose pain upon the trees in order to live. With each wound they inflict upon the tree, the bark of the tree, which acts as a suit of armor guarding the soul, cracks and the soul is forced to encounter the world which it wanted to escape. In this way, that the harpies make their living by inflicting pain and suffering onto others.

As the quintessential perfect female, Beatrice’s kind and loving nature is the standard by which Dante judges all other females which he encounters. Because of Dante’s love and respect for Beatrice, he shows a heightened regard for females compared to the rest of society, especially considering the age in which he lived. His love for Beatrice was a substantial influence on his perspective of females in the world around him, and also how Dante described the female inhabitants of Hell.

Dante and Virgil’s journey

Inferno opens on the evening of fine Friday within the year 1300. Traveling thru a dark wood, Dante Alighieri has lost his course and now wanders fearfully through the forest. The sun shines down on a mountain above him, and he attempts to climb up to it but finds his way blocked via three beasts”a leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf.

Frightened and helpless, Dante returns to the darkish wood. Here he encounters the ghost of Virgil, the gorgeous Roman poet, who has come to information Dante again to his path, to the top of the mountain. Virgil says that their path will take them through Hell and that they will eventually attain Heaven, the place Dante’s cherished Beatrice awaits. He provides that it used to be Beatrice, alongside with two different holy women, who, seeing Dante misplaced in the wood, sent Virgil to information him.

Virgil leads Dante through the gates of Hell, marked via the haunting inscription abandon all hope, you who enter here (III.7). They enter the outlying location of Hell, the Ante-Inferno, the place the souls who in existence may want to now not commit to either properly or evil now ought to run in a futile chase after a clean banner, day after day, whilst hornets chunk them and worms lap their blood. Dante witnesses their struggling with repugnance and pity. The ferryman Charon then takes him and his information across the river Acheron, the real border of Hell. The First Circle of Hell, Limbo, homes pagans, such as Virgil and many of the other tremendous writers and poets of antiquity, who died besides understanding of Christ. After meeting Horace, Ovid, and Lucan, Dante keeps on into the Second Circle of Hell, which is reserved for the sin of Lust. At the border of the Second Circle, the monster Minos lurks, giving condemned souls to their punishments. He curls his tail around himself a certain quantity of times, indicating the number of the circle to which the soul ought to go. Inside the Second Circle, Dante watches as the souls of the Lustful swirl about in a horrible storm; Dante meets Francesca, who tells him the story of her doomed love affair with Paolo da Rimini, her husband’s brother; the relationship has landed each in Hell.

In the Third Circle of Hell, the Gluttonous should lie in mud and suffer a rain of grime and excrement. In the Fourth Circle, the Avaricious and the Prodigal are made to cost at one some other with massive boulders. The Fifth Circle of Hell contains the river Styx, a swampy, fetid cesspool in which the Wrathful spend eternity struggling with one another; the Sullen lie sure below the Styx’s waters, choking on the mud. Dante glimpses Filippo Argenti, a former political enemy of his, and watches in pride as different souls tear the man to pieces.

Virgil and Dante subsequent proceed to the partitions of the city of Dis, a town contained inside the large area of Hell. The demons who protect the gates refuse to open them for Virgil, and an angelic messenger arrives from Heaven to pressure the gates open before Dante. The sixth circle of hell is where you’ll find Heretics, there Dante runs into Farinata a political leader. A deep valley leads into the First Ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell, the place those who have been violent toward others spend eternity in a river of boiling blood. Virgil and Dante meet a crew of Centaurs, creatures who are half man, half horse. One of them, Nessus, takes them into the Second Ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell, where they come upon those who were violent towards themselves (the Suicides). These souls have to endure eternity in the structure of trees. Dante there speaks with Pier della Vigna. Going deeper into the Seventh Circle of Hell, the vacationers discover these who had been violent toward God (the Blasphemers); Dante meets his historic patron, Brunetto Latini, taking walks among the souls of those who have been violent towards Nature (the Sodomites) on a wasteland of burning sand. They additionally come across the Usurers, those who have been violent toward Art.

The monster Geryon transports Virgil and Dante across a outstanding abyss to the Eighth Circle of Hell, acknowledged as Malebolge, or evil pockets (or pouches); the term refers to the circle’s division into quite a number pockets separated by means of gorgeous folds of earth. In the First Pouch, the Panderers and the Seducers obtain lashings from whips; in the second, the Flatterers need to lie in a river of human feces. The Simoniacs in the Third Pouch grasp upside down in baptismal fonts whilst their toes burn with fire. In the Fourth Pouch are the Astrologists or Diviners, pressured to stroll with their heads on backward, a sight that moves Dante to terrific pity. In the Fifth Pouch, the Barrators (those who popular bribes) steep in pitch while demons tear them apart. The Hypocrites in the Sixth Pouch need to continuously stroll in circles, sporting heavy robes made of lead. Caiphas, the priest who proven Jesus’ loss of life sentence, lies crucified on the ground; the other sinners tread on him as they walk. In the horrifying Seventh Pouch, the Thieves sit trapped in a pit of vipers, becoming vipers themselves when bitten; to regain their form, they should bite some other thief in turn.

In the Eighth Pouch of the Eighth Circle of Hell, Dante speaks to Ulysses, the outstanding hero of Homer’s epics, now doomed to an eternity among those guilty of Spiritual Theft (the False Counselors) for his position in executing the ruse of the Trojan Horse. In the Ninth Pouch, the souls of Sowers of Scandal and Schism walk in a circle, constantly stricken with the aid of wounds that open and close repeatedly. In the Tenth Pouch, the Falsifiers suffer from a horrible plague and diseases.

Virgil and Dante proceed to the Ninth Circle of Hell via the Giants’ Well, which leads to a massive drop to Cocytus, a fantastic frozen lake. The large Antaeus picks Virgil and Dante up and units them down at the backside of the well, in the lowest location of Hell. In Caina, the First Ring of the Ninth Circle of Hell, those who betrayed their kinfolk stand frozen up to their necks in the lake’s ice. In Antenora, the Second Ring, those who betrayed their usa and party stand frozen up to their heads; right here Dante meets Count Ugolino, who spends eternity gnawing on the head of the man who imprisoned him in life. In Ptolomea, the Third Ring, these who betrayed their visitors spend eternity mendacity on their backs in the frozen lake, their tears making blocks of ice over their eyes. Dante subsequent follows Virgil into Judecca, the Fourth Ring of the Ninth Circle of Hell and the lowest depth. Here, these who betrayed their benefactors spend eternity in whole icy submersion.

A huge, mist-shrouded form lurks ahead, and Dante procedures it. It is the three-headed giant Lucifer, plunged waist-deep into the ice. His physique pierces the middle of the Earth, where he fell when God hurled him down from Heaven. Each of Lucifer’s mouths chews one of history’s three biggest sinners: Judas, the betrayer of Christ, and Cassius and Brutus, the betrayers of Julius Caesar. Virgil leads Dante on a climb down Lucifer’s massive form, maintaining on to his frozen tufts of hair. Eventually, the poets reach the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, and journey from there out of Hell and back onto Earth. They emerge from Hell on Easter morning, just earlier than sunrise.

Dante and Virgil’s journey taught us that there is a lot to strive for. They sought out adventure, and they went and got it. Dante and Virgil started their journey as guide and teacher, respectively, and turned it to be a very successful combination. Dante ended up eventually dying of Malaria. However, his long lasting legacy.

Citation Page

  1. Dante: The Divine Comedy. Poetry in Translation, www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Italian/DantnotesInf.php.
  2. The Divine Comedy. Philosophy of Megaten Wiki, philosophy-of-megaten.wikia.com/wiki/The_Divine_Comedy.
  3. Inferno (Dante). Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Nov. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferno_(Dante).

The Journey Through Nine Circles Of Hell

The Inferno is the first part of Dante’s epic poem, Divine Comedy, of the 14th century. The poet (Dante) starts a spiritual journey where he is guided by the soul of the Roman poet Virgil. Dante takes the journey through nine circles of hell where he observes the punishments that the sinners who had passed on earlier are going through.

In the first canto, Dante is lost in the dark woods and lost both his literal and spiritual sense, which makes him descend to Limbo. This is where Dante meets Virgil, his poetic idol. They both get into hell where they explore the nine circles and come across the historical, biblical, as well as mythological characters, the ones suffering and those offering the punishments. At the ninth circle, Dante meets Lucifer and raises his hefty body to make a return to earth. Dante’s element of his journey makes exploration of the descent of a man into sin as he uses poetic justice, mythical and historical figures. He crafts the work to focus on the nature of sin and the nature of sin in society. This paper critically analyses the cantos, themes, key figures in the Inferno of Dante.

Inferno is a representation of a microcosm of society. Every sort of individuals, including lovers, politicians, non-specialists, clergy, and scholars, among others, are all brought together for punishment and most human attributes. In spite of the blemished nature of hell, it is civilized by the fact that the people punished are diverse as they come from every region irrespective of their beliefs, gender, race or age (Dante 3.123). Although Dante did not come up with the idea of hell to be a place where sinful souls are punished after they die, he created the concept of imagination that has acquired notable attention in different works of the medieval, classical and even biblical eras. The Divine Comedy has been perceived to be among the supreme works of the Italian literature since its writing in the 14th century.

Poetic justice has also been explored extensively in Dante’s Inferno and has been effected through drama, conceiving necessary punishments for every sin committed by every person. From the non-existence to betrayal, Dante documents the sinners’ punishments- the popular and the unknown, beloved and infamous. Every punishment given to the sinners fits the kinds of penalty they are given. The poem discusses Satan’s domain, as well as the Christian incarnation of evil. There are nine circles in the inferno, including gluttony, limbo, treachery, wrath and sullenness, fraud, violence, violence, lust and avarice, and prodigality based on the deadliest sins in society.

At the beginning of the poem, Dante is lost in the woods and unable to escape the three beasts, a lion, leopard, and a she-wolf, surrounding him (Dante 1.18). He cannot manage to walk straight through the mountain, which represents the road to salvation. The lion represents pride; the leopard represents envy as the she-wolf is a representation of greed. The blockage by these three beasts forces Dante to descend to hell. This journey as a whole is an analogy of an individual’s fall into sin (inferno), then receives redemption (portrayed through Purgatorio), and finally, gets saved (portrayed in Paradiso).

Dante passes through the gateway to hell and sees the words that suggest something bad is awaiting him inside. The writing at the gateway says Abandon every hope, who enter here (3.9). The two (Dante and Virgil) witness a variety of people who lived miserable lives with disgrace and no praise on the fringe of inferno (3.17-34). In this domain, Dante and Virgil come across the souls of the miserable people who cowardly live a life of disgrace and were thrown away from heaven and had been refused entry by hell. The sinful souls are given no option, but to race after the unstopping banner where they are constantly stung by wasps and flies as their tears and blood nourish the worms at their foot (3.69). These sinful and coward souls suffer a limpid punishment for their failure to make proper decisions, which has made them end cast out of both the eternal paradise and damnation and all they have got is to run after the unstopping banner as they endure suffering continuously.

Another significant character in the poem is Charon, hell’s boatman. Charon is an irritable old man given the responsibility of piloting the boat that moves the shadows of the deceased to the underworld through the waters (3.83). Charon’s irritability can be seen as he takes someone who is still alive (Dante) to the land of the dead. The guide of the leading character (Virgil) gives the boatman the appropriate credentials and the transportation is made as planned.

There is a place set aside for the ignorant, Limbo. People are punished for their ignorance and are forced into spending their lives in a place that seems no to be much of hell, but still not heaven. The noble-Christian souls, as well as those who spent their life before Christianity, receive their punishment in limbo. This is the idea of a place for the souls that did not get baptized as much as they did not sin (4.34), which is a show of ignorance. Dante incorporates the babies who never got baptized and the remarkable non-Cristian adults in the version of limbo, bearing a similarity to the Asphodel Meadows where common souls were taken to live after their death. Even though these souls are not left to languish in hell, the Limbo is not as a good place as paradise, and that makes it the appropriate place for the ignorant according to Dante.

Classical poets such as Homer, Lucan, Horace, and Ovid are also encountered by Dante in Limbo. The classical poets welcome their comrade (Virgil) back and honor Dante as their colleague as well (4.79-101). Other significant characters who make an appearance in the Limbo include Aristotle and Socrates, the well-known figures for their scholarly successes in their time. Socrates is renowned for his thoughtful and diligent questioning of the works of Plato, who also makes his appearance. Moreover, one outstanding non-Christian soul, Saladin, also finds himself in the Limbo. This is an eminent leader of the military and Egyptian sultan who got a lot of admiration even from the enemies for his nobility. According to Dante, all non-Christians irrespective of whether or not they were exemplary in their lifetime had to get to the Limbo.

In the second circle, the lustful receive their punishment through the blowing of the hurricane. The hurricane blows them constantly with no rests, wheels, and pounds (5.31-33). Through lust, many found themselves in the sin of adultery, which made characters such as Cleopatra, Dido, and Troy, among others who suffer a violent death. Lust has been symbolized by the strong and violent winds, which also represents the strength it contains in the affairs related to blind passions. Several famous lovers such as Paris, Dido, Tristan and Semiramis are contained by lust. The Assyrian powerful queen, Semiramis, is allegedly reported to have been a very awkward individual who went to the extent of making incest legal in her territory. Dido, on the other hand, was the queen of Carthage who killed herself after her lover abandoned her. Paris perished in the Trojan War.

The Inferno by Dante is an indication of a revolution in the theology of Christians as it uses poetic justice to deal with the wrongdoers, historical figures, as well as classical mythology. Through a combination of these aspects in a single poem, Dante gives the people of the western world a new perception on the imagination of the afterlife and what the hell entails. He successfully reveals the vision of hell through his focus on scenes and the specific identities of the characters he managed to make an encounter with while there. Throughout the centuries since the writing of the poem, there have been several reviews ranging from passion to repulsive responses depending on the notion that the poem instills on the readers. However, the most agreed response on this supreme work of the Italian literature will remain to be half-hearted.

Infernal Love and Faith

Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human Existence. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy. Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell (Blake 69).

When he had spoken: I beheld the Angel who stretched out his arms embracing the flame of fire & he was consumed and arose as Elijah. Note. This Angel, who is now the Devil, is my particular friend; we often read the Bible together in its infernal or diabolical sense which the world shall have if they behave well (Blake 80).

Both passages present a mediocre but apt comparison to what Blake is poignantly attempting to demonstrate in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In the first passage, he tries to create a complex idea, one which creates relations between things. He portrays good as passive, good is also reason and heaven. However, evil, active, energy and hell are more or less not interchangeable, but synonymous. The next passage embodies the complexity of the first one, but presents the Devil as a figure that does not suppress his energy or divinity, but rather, embraces the message of the Body and Soul, by intertwining it with Love and Sex, and Desire and Reason.

Blake deploys the language of contradiction, presenting angels with a negative and devil-like connotation to demonstrate the law of human development. Subjectively, the words in the text break in the middle of the line, creating a caesura, hence, slowing down movements at different intervals to emphasize meaning, or fasten a phrase to initiate more weight. He states, Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction is Repulsion (69), it is already established that Blake sporadically creates a fracture of sorts within this sentence. By separating both lines with a pause, he possibly attempts to create an ominous, or rather dramatic effect in the minds of the readers. In a larger context, interposing the informal and irregular patterns of the lines prevent metrical monotony and emphasizes more meaning. Perhaps, this could be a vivid illustration of the contraries Blake is attempting to demonstrate in this section. Just like in the Songs of Innocence, life is full of joy and pleasure, but within those virtues ensue illiteracy and naivete. While the Songs of Experience has established a social reality, Blake is depicting through these contraries of Attraction and Repulsion / Heaven and Hell, that Energy and Reason repulse one another because they are not a unified purpose.

While energy encompasses one end of the spectrum, Reason seeks another, thereby forming attraction. In essence, Blake demonstrates that Energy and Reason can simultaneously oppose one another, while working for the same purpose. Heaven and Hell serve as an extension of each other; they are both an interwoven part of the human existence. While Blake might seemingly be phrasing these in religious terms, the opposition he might be referring to could possibly date back to the hierarchical philosophy and belief that reason remains on top (Heaven), while passion below (Hell). He is calling for a dynamic union of these oppositions that are necessary to exist within mankind.

The speaker adopts the voice of the Devil which prompts the reader to question whether or not to trust these call for inactions. It prompts one to assume whether this voice is viable and valid in their own rights, or if the readers should refute or debate the legitimacy of his ideas. While the first passage seems to portray the intersectionality between Heaven and Hell, and the Angel and Devil, the second passage brings about the beginning of rapprochement between Blake’s Devil and Angel. To vividly demonstrate this, he forces the readers to imagine the momentary surge of emotions that could possibly erupt when attempting to fuse Heaven and Hell together. He states, I beheld the Angel who stretched out his arms embracing the flame of fire & he was consumed and arose as Elijah (80). This initiative is sparked by the devil as he emerges from the flame of fire and summons all infernal energies to challenge and assert power towards the Angels dogma. This vividly parallels the battle between the Angels and the Devil in Milton’s Paradise Lost, where the devil and his companions were inadvertently ludicrous to believe they could possibly overthrow their creator. Referring back to Blake’s initial statement that Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence (34), he implies that the heavenly contraries which are represented by the angels have been completely dominated by the hellish contraries- the devil, therefore transforming the Angel into a Devil. This metaphorical equivalent of an angel transforming into a devil could perhaps be alluding to the state of mind of the readers. By following the transitional voice and tone of the devil all along, the readers are all consumed in his seductive trance, or even possibly succumbed to his voice of sex, lust and energy.

Otherworldly, the transformation of the angel into a devil suggests a biblical allusion to the meaning of marriage, in which two become one flesh. The intersection of these two souls, and minds into one body attacks the Orthodox position of Marriage, perhaps it seems to consequently argue that by the fusion of the angel and devil’s souls, evil has been transformed into good. Figuratively, Blake seems to be refusing the idea that good and evil should be seen as separate, independent contraries, and instead seems to suggest a dynamic in which one contrary (evil) is transformed into and subsumed by its opposite. He abjectly uses a repetitive rhetoric to display the adverse and reticulate meanings behind some of his ambiguous claims. He states, Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy. Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell (69). The phrases Good and Evil are constantly repeated at different intervals in the text, as well as ?reason and energy. Blake demonstrates that while both phrases are contrary, they do not negate one another. Hence, as long as reason and good are transparent virtues, they will continue to reveal rather than hinder the divinity of mankind. The line, If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is, infinite (72), demonstrates how Blake seems to refrain from laying emphasis on the nature of mankind as being infinite, but rather, demonstrating a contrast between a fallen vision and a heavenly one.

While the Angel sought to impose he idea of hell upon the narrator, the narrator subconsciously was bound to hell. However, as soon as the angel was no longer there to impose this reality, this idea no longer existed. Readers are forced to think that the idea of heaven and hell are just manifestations of the desires of the believers (people who think that heaven and hell exists), hence, it is once again a controversial idea. Blake then shifts his conceptual argument to the idea of vanity. He goes on to compare Angels to vain creatures who speak wisely of only themselves, he states, I have always found that angels have the vanity to speak of themselves as the only wise; this they do with a confident insolences sprouting from systematic reasoning (79). He criticizes the analogies of Swedenborg and Behmen, questioning their ideas on contraries. Although Behmen’s analogies are close, if not the same as the one Blake advocates in The Marriage. Basically, the idea of seeing greatness in mankind as the best way to win God’s heart demonstrates that if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, one ought to love him in the greatest degree- of course this opinion is refutable in other religious stances, and could possibly be seen as heresy. In a Christian sense, the readers are forced to acknowledge that Blake could possibly be alluding that any faith worth having, has to be one that can withstand a challenge.

Blake goes on to provide the readers with a long list of ideas, referencing a potential revolution, possibly a revelation that would be freeing from the shackles of expectation. He concludes with a very subtle line which is reminiscent of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge, stating, For everything that lives is holy (82), depicting the idea that without contraries, there is no progression. This phrase reveals the underlying meanings embedded in the previous passages. The reader now has the ability to grasp and understand that everything that lives is holy, nothing is necessarily better than the other, and this includes darkness, evil and sin. Furthermore this unique work embodies the searching critique of ideas and yet, it builds on them. Both passages present the work is a medley of numerous forms, from poetry to proverbs, satiric narratives, parodies of other writers and even allusions to contemporary people. Referring back to the cover image if this poem, it shows at the top, pairs of lovers sitting under some leafless trees, in a very calm yet colorless mode. Underneath them, there are fierce flames blazing upwards, with two figures positioned in a very twisted position (possibly alluding to the confusion of mankind). By gazing at this image, the readers are forced to picture heaven in a higher position compared to Hell. Blake’s idea however, forces one to rethink the entire symbolism that heaven and hell have represented. Supposedly, the blazing flames below may not be bad after all.

While Blake is deliberately rehabilitating the satanic (the pride of the devil which prompted his fall from heaven), he does not advocate for cruelty but rather invokes through the monotonous effects of his words that energy and conflict are fundamental to human existence. The body should be seen as a site to no longer imply an opposition between body and mind or body and soul, but instead a dynamic interaction, possibly a marriage of reason and energy. Hence, Blake does infact agree that the human mind is embedded with self-condemnation and repression, and rather, encourages readers to explore beyond the restrictive boundaries of good and evil. To further Blake’s analogy of the society and the self, versus the psychology of the mind and the self, his poem, London from the Songs of Experience, epitomizes the same thing if the passages were to be explicated in a political sense. In London, he highlights the way in which the society was forged through the placement of the privileged, referring to them as mind-forged manacles (41). This analogy is necessary when explicating Blake’s true message in the Marriage of Heaven and Hell because it is indeed the repressed mind, and suppressed self that restricts individuals from achieving a breakthrough and recreating the meaning of his/her life.

Ch. and Religion and Morality in Dante’s Inferno

Religion can spark many thoughts in the minds of their followers. Religion influences our everyday lives. Religion created the term morality, meaning knowing the difference between right and wrong.

In Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, The author was inspired by the Roman Catholic Church. Christianity discussed the idea of an afterlife but, never actually created a large concept of it. Through his work, Dante created the idea of three separate places in the afterlife: Inferno meaning hell, Purgativo meaning purgatory and Paradiso meaning heaven. The first book of this series is Inferno. Dante’s work was an attempt to influence the protests and unrest of the Middle Ages into fear, Inferno served as a warning for the consequences of bad behavior. Dante’s goal was to persuade people to the path of good. Dante Alighieri’s Inferno proves to show the powerful influence religion and morality have over his work.

To begin, Dante uses the Bible all throughout Inferno. The first example of this is the Holy Trinity. Well known cable network for true stories of notable individuals throughout time, an article on Biography, Dante: Biography explains that The Divine Comedy’s use of hell, purgatory and heaven symbolize the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Biography notices that The Divine Comedy is a somewhat autobiographical work, set at the time in which he [Dante] lived. An example of this is the woman Beatrice. In The beginning of the Inferno, Dante wakes up in dark forest unknowing of how he got there. The poet Virgil appears to him and explains that Beatrice has sent him. The men must walk through Hell to get to her.

Biography points out that Dante was actually in love with a woman named Beatrice Portinari. Even though he was promised to Gemma di Manetto, his heart bled for Beatrice. Dante named his only daughter out of four children, Beatrice. His love for Beatrice Portiagoria sparked his interest in the afterlife after her death in 1290. The timing of the trip can be considered realistic and religious towards the Catholic religion. Well known cable network for true stories of important historical events an article on History, Dante is Exiled From Florence notes that The journey lasts from the night before Good Friday to the Wednesday after Easter in the spring of 1300. This date is after Beatrice died and also takes place in part on Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. Professor of Religion and Literature at Yale Divinity School, Author Peter S. Hawkins of Dante and the Bible confirms throughout Bible is referenced 575 times throughout The Divine Comedy.

When the men reach Hell, it is obvious Catholic religion plays a large part in Dante’s Inferno. According to History, Virgil guides Dante through hell and a phenomenal array of sinners in their various states. The men walk through the 9 circles of hell divided by the actions made by the sinners in each circle. History notes that

Dante’s Inferno a great book of nobility and courage

Dante’s Inferno is a great book of nobility and courage, I actually own a copy. Reading through you will find people who have sinned, being placed in different parts of hell. You can find Cleopatra in the second circle of hell for being lustful in her life.

You can find Brutus, being eternally eaten by one of the three mouths of Lucifer for being treacherous. These places of hell with different figures from the life and history of Dante Alighieri, show of where he thought the sinners from his life should be placed. There are celebrities who could be assigned to the different levels of hell based on their actions.

First circle, limbo, in this circle of hell you will find that people who were not baptized or did not believe in a higher being. Here we could place the famous scientist Richard Dawkins. It is known that Dawkins is an Atheist, he has written a book called the God Delusion in which he points out the flaws of religion. Dawkins would be forever stuck in limbo due to him not conforming to the ideas of religion.

Second circle, lust, this circle of Hell is designated to those who have sinned of the flesh. In a tornado of sinful souls are forever thrashed around this place, never resting. This is a depiction of how one might think with lustfulness on their minds. We would encounter Tiger Woods in this circle, he was accused and found guilty of adultery by his wife. Having around 120 affairs with different women in his life, I believe that Tiger Woods would be among those souls that are punished the worse in this second stormy circle of Hell.

Third circle, gluttony, forever raining from the sky is ice and all around our feet we can hear the moans and shouts of the dammed. Guarded by the beast Cerberus, a hound like creature who is constantly chewing at the flesh of the sinned and eating the souls that stay here. A stinking pit of vile slush on the ground much like that of a pig pen, but much worse. In this circle of Hell, we will find the ex-television show host Paula Deen. In gluttony she stays, due to her overindulgence of food.

Fourth circle, greed, this circle of Hell is devoted to those in life who either are hoarders or spend thrifts. Divided into two sections this place is a constant brawl between the hoarders and the spend thrifts. Here we can find the ever-popular Kim Kardashian. She is stuck in this hellish place due to her constant spending in life. The two sides fighting in this pit are an analogy to ones’ selfishness in life with their belongings.

Fifth circle, anger, in this circle we will find the river Styx, which is a river filled with naked and muddy souls, all fighting one another for eternity. We would find the MMA fighter Coner McGregor. Though it is his job to fight, often times McGregor tries to pick fights with people outside the Octagon in which he fights. In his life, McGregor is always angry about losing or not being the best fighter in the world.

Sixth circle, heresy, in this circle of hell the heretics are trapped in boxes and burned for eternity. This is the true look of hell I think, with the poem talking of fire and brimstone. Heresy in Dante’s words were almost meant to be for people that didn’t take a religion at all, but he also talked of religious people in his life in this circle of hell. We could find the famous actor Tom Cruise in the circle; his life was spent practicing scientology which directly goes against the Christian religion.

Seventh circle, violence, in the river Phlegethon of boiling blood, we can find the most violent people of modern day society. Someone who I think would be suited for this circle is Chris Brown, he was accused of being violent toward Rhianna. In the poem, The Inferno, it is said that the dammed souls of the seventh circle are placed at different depths of the river Phlegethon of boiling blood in accordance to their violence in life. Dante said in his book that Alexander the Great is sunken up to his eyebrows, I think that Chris brown should be sunken to his head at the least.

Eight circle, fraud, this circle is dedicated to those in life were fraudulent. Martha Stewart comes to mind when thinking of this circle of hell. Stewart was accused for fraudulent activity in a security fraud. She would be in the last of the 10 malebolges of the falsifiers. In this malebolge, the cursed are sickened with disease of the worlds.

Ninth circle, treachery, this last and final circle of hell is meant for the worst of the sinners, the traitors. Much like the river of boiling blood, the sinners here are stuck in the ice in different positions due to the nature of sins in their lives. Here we could find Simon Cowell, he bedded with his best friend’s wife. Not only did he sleep with her, but they had a baby together. I think Simon Cowell should be placed face down in the ice not being able to move, or speak. This can be a useful analogy in being ashamed of what one has done in their life.

In life, most people will eventually do wrong in the eyes of some religion or another. The Inferno calls to our human nature to do better than you think you can if you believe in a higher power or not. I think Dante wrote a great poem that could change the way people think in 2018.