A Lust For Power In Dante's Inferno

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A Lust For Power For as long as man ate the forbidden fruit, individuals are poisoned with the need to be superior and the want to exercise their power on those of lesser stature. In Inferno, Dante Alighieri explores different ways in which individuals abuse their power, leading to the conclusion that although some individuals may have the power to use their platform for good or peace, they choose to act selfishly in order to be above others. Dante achieves in conveying this concept through his description of those in the church and in politics.
Although one may think that the topic of the abuse of power is only stressed in the eighth circle of Hell, it is actually represented throughout the entire epic poem. After further analysis one
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Furthermore, when speaking to Pope Nicholas III, Dante fails to restrain his emotions and after stating that he would “make use of words more grievous still,” comparing the catholic church to a monster that would “fornicate with kings” (Dante 19.103.108). Emphasizing that without all of its corruption and dependence on the rich, the church would lose its influence. By comparing the church and those empowered within it to a vulgar monster, Dante denies the church’s reputation of purity and good. Coherently, Dante’s placement of this pope in one of the deepest parts of Hell only amplifies the concept that those such as Pope Nicholas III or even a church, “trampling on the good and lifting the depraved” betray those that are good and betray God himself, are some of the most fraudulent and treacherous sinners of all (Dante…show more content…
Being dedicated to both of these quintessential parts of his life, corruption intertwined between the both is an apawling sin according to him. This is exemplified through his allusions of Pope Boniface VIII, who is known for thinking himself superior to the emperor and a rumor of essentially making Pope Celestine V abdicate in order to take his place. When Dante and Virgil approach Pope Nicholas III, who’s only visible features are his feet, as his head is buried in sand, he calls out, “dost thou stand there already, Boniface?” foretelling that Pope Boniface VIII will meet others punished for simony in Hell when he states “art thou so early satiate with that wealth" (Dante 19.53.55). This pope is not physically in Dante’s Hell, because he was not yet dead at the time he was writing the poem. However, to Dante, Pope Boniface VIII was one of the most corrupt and fraudulent because he led a false perception of wanting to make peace. This false perception undermines the church and all of its followers, causing him to eventually join Pope Nicholas III in his misery, following the theme of how the abuse of power, particularly in the church and politics, is despicable towards
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