The Greek’s Inferno: A Comparison of Greek and Catholic Underworlds For nearly 2000 years, various religions continue to perpetuate the idea of an underworld, or a place after death. For the Greeks, much of their mythology deals with Gods, Goddesses, and the afterlife. Catholics, however, base their idea of an afterlife with three levels: Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, a place for people who must experience a purification of sorts. Numerous Greek writers wrote about the idea of their underworld, or Hades, one of the most famous being Homer, writer of The Odyssey. The Odyssey details the hero Odysseus’ journey back to his homeland of Ithaca. In book 11, Odysseus, for the first time in the poem, travels to the underworld on instructions from Circe. …show more content…
The idea of Hell itself in most Judeo-Christian denominations begins with the simple premise of being a place for those who have either sinned or turned his or her back on God, damning them to an eternity of punishment and suffering. A major idea presented in Inferno is the idea of the contrapasso. Justin Steinburg in his essay “Dante’s Justice? A Reapprasial of the Contrapasso” summarizes the idea by explaining it as a balance of crime and punishment in Hell. In canto 28 in the Inferno, the Dante first poses the idea in text when Bertran de Born must carry his own head in his arms after separating father from son. (354-357) Born then says the final line within Canto 28, “Thus is observed in me the counterpoise.” (358) Not all of Dante’s Hell continues the trend of being a place made only for people who have committed grave sin. The reader finds in Canto 4 that many great poets and people that existed prior to the death of Jesus Christ inhabit the first circle. (88-90) Finally, Dante’s phrases his idea of hell in a very interesting way in Canto 3 by saying those in hell have “foregone the good of intellect” (18) The “intellect” itself can be deduced as being God. This version of Hell, however, was born from Dante’s mind after being banished from Florence. Much of the Inferno is written as satire, but the morals it holds still present themselves within the larger Catholic ideology. In Thomas Thayer’s The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment, he conducts a detailed analysis of the Bible’s hell and it’s origins. Thayer states that the word “hell” actually comes from the hebrew word sheol meaning “The place or state of the dead” (44) Not only is the word hell used for the
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“ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE.” a morale destructing statement which spirits deep within the circles of Hell abide by. To demonstrate the certainty behind this bold statement, Dante Alighieri uses prominent allusions to provide the reader with concepts that they can relate to for overall better understanding. Dante incorporates allusions within the circles of Hell such as Pope Celestine V, Dido, and Judas. To begin, one of the very first allusions introduced is Pope Celestine V for his abandonment of religious hierarchy and hate towards God.
The story is a sempiternal incubus; puritans fearing the fervid, ardent flames of Dante’s Inferno will consume reprobates, and even the pious, withal. Perhaps, the author’s chalice of Hippocrene was befouled with bereavement, mutilation, and purgatory. Nonetheless, this begets scepticism/dubiety concerning the benevolence, rectitude, and omnipotence of God. Hell on Earth: “I thought it not because I believe in God (I don’t, I think, not after all of this) . . . .” Ruby Morris’
The one on front, and that vermilion was…” (Dante's Inferno: Canto XXXIV) In other words, the theme of satan's description is an eternal punishment that will be powerful enough for the divine right. Using contrapasso, sinners must pay for the punishments in which they have committed in their lifetime. The sin will always fit the punishment.
Argument of Dante’s Inferno Throughout the story of Dante’s Inferno his travels through Hell to search for God was interrupted by the spirits and the nine levels of Hell. In the book Dante’s Inferno, Dante goes on a journey through the levels of Hell. In the book as Dante travels through the levels of Hell and his anger increases as the journey goes on.
Homers complex writing is devoted to the extend he gives on the perspective into the Greek underworld, stories in which were prevailing in the Greek society. The numerous conditions of the reality of the afterlife are deeply described rather than the setting of the underworld. The underworld is described as the House of Hades which is where your death and inevitable fate lies. It is signified in The Odyssey Book XI, concretely in the scenes of Odysseus mother’s death in the Cimmerians, the Greek culture expresses a depressing but inevitable view of death as a complete dichotomy of the fate but shows the indication of more than just one afterlife.
"The Inferno" is the first book in the epic poem called the “Divine Comedy” by the Italian politician Dante Alighieri and it is followed by "Purgatorio" and "Paradiso”. The book "Inferno", which is the Italian translation for Hell, tells the journey of its author through what he believes is Hell, which consists of nine circles of pain and suffering. In his journey, he is guided through the nine circles by the Roman poet Virgil. Each circle in the book represents a different type of sin with a different type of punishment, varying according to the degree of the offense they committed in their life. By the end of his journey through all of the circles, Dante realizes and emphasizes the perfection of God's Justice and the significance of each offense towards God’s unconditional love.
The same way, disorder means damnation. In both of the masterpieces we find the same way in conceiving coordinates and juxtaposing politics and religion, empire and church. Analogous is the way to express certain forces of nature, intimate qualities of the spirit, sublimation or degeneration of senses through animals. Dante’s Comedy and the mosaic of Otranto teem with animals and monsters: dogs, wolves, dragons, lions, sphinxes, griffins, centaurs, etc. We find all of these representations in both of the works and with the same meaning, same analogies, and same functions.
In the Inferno, Dante describes the different levels of hell and the punishment which corresponds to the sin. Dante categorize hell into three major sins consisting of incontinence, violence, and fraudulent. Fraudulent is portrayed as the worse sin in the Inferno while incontinence is seen as a less serious sin. Each category has sinners which have all been punished for their wrong doings in life. The three major sins consist of circles where Dante separates the different sinners.
But, as the poem continues to progress, it becomes quite clear the there is a perfect balance within God’s justice as the degree of each sinner’s punishment perfectly reflects upon the gravity of the sin. Furthermore, the inscription on the gates of Hell explicitly states that Hell exists as a result of divine justice; “ll. “ Justice moved my great maker; God eternal / Wrought me: the power and the unsearchably / High wisdom, and the primal love supernal (III.4-6).” Prior to delving into the structure of Hell and how it displays God’s divine justice, one must first familiarize themselves with both the historical context of Dante’s life, along with the beliefs of the medieval church.
Dante’s Inferno is an epic poem by Durante “Dante” degli Alighieri, written in the 1300s. He wrote a trilogy, known as the Divine Comedy, consisting of Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. Dante was inspired by many events and issues happening at that time, such as the war between Guelphs and Ghibellines, the Battle of Montaperti, and Christian religious beliefs. In this paper, I will explore the first book, Inferno, on the topic of Hell and how the sinners had a significant impact on Dante’s journey through Hell. In Circle 5: Styx, Canto VIII, Filippo Argenti, a sinner of Wrathful, helped Dante to symbolize to readers his anger towards Black Guelphs, political enemies of the White Guelphs.
The year is 1302, Dante Alighieri is absent from his role as one of the six supreme magistrates. Prior to that he had an extremely successful political career who had no problem exerting his power. Dante considered himself “a moderate White, he found it necessary during the two-month term to join in banishing his brother-in-law, Corso Donati, and his "first friend," Guido Cavalcanti, as ringleaders respectively of the Blacks and Whites.” Blacks and Whites were faction groups who had ongoing fights in the streets of Florence. This is an extremely admirable trait of a great ruler and/or ruler, the ability to at any moment turn on friends or family in order to uphold the city or government.
While reading Dante’s Inferno readers must understand that none of the sinners are innocent. “By this way no good spirit ever passes” (“Commedia: Inferno”). It is also very important to understand that the sins themselves are not the reason they are condemned to Hell. The reason they are condemned to Hell is due to their failure to repent and ask for forgiveness of these sins. “In Dante’s faith, a soul can only be saved by turning to God for forgiveness” (“Commedia: Inferno”).
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
Dante’s Inferno represents a microcosm of society; meaning, laymen, church, politicians, and scholars are all compiled into one place and punished for their sins. Hell, despite being depicted as brutal, ugly, and chaotic, is made realistic because the inhabitants come from every country and every walk of life. While Dante Alighieri did not invent the idea of Hell itself, he did create an important and in depth concept that still receives attention in biblical, classical, and medieval works. The Divine Comedy itself was written sometime between the years 1308 and 1321 and scholars still consider it the “supreme work of Italian literature.” The work itself is an epic poem divided into three separate sections: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso; respectively Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven.
This essay aims to investigate the relevance of Italian 13,14 and 15th century religion, politics and art throughout Dantes inferno. Being the most important part of daily medieval life, Religion is prone to be one of the most influential topics in Dantes Divine comedy. Catholicism ruled as the dominant religion in medieval Florence from the late 13th to the early 14th century (Trotter). Dantes entire depiction of hell is based on Religion, Dantes spheres of hell all reflect a certain type of sin found in the bible (Trotter). The first circle of hell is Limbo, its inhabitants are mostly people of high