Lucifer’s suffering is most appropriate by far, along with the suffering of Brutus, Cassius, and Judas. No matter where we go when death takes over, most people forbid to go to Hell. After reading The Inferno, Dante makes it clear that any sin can suffer greatly. Eternal punishment is not wanted, and the story does make that clear. Out of all the levels I got to experience with Dante and each punishment that came with it, I believe Lucifer’s contrapasso was the worse.
When thinking of life choices would one see themselves being punished for their decisions or does one assume the afterlife will be forgiving? The Divine Comedy: Inferno, written by Dante Alighieri, depicts the flaws of politics and the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The papal authorities are corrupt and the church is not following its own rules. Dante, the protagonist, goes on a journey through the nine levels of hell. He starts out feeling pity for the souls, and as he makes his journey down into the levels of hell, he starts to realize that the acts the people committed are sinful and they deserve the punishments they receive.
There are several things in each circle that prove the theme of divine retribution. Some examples would include the Second Circle (Lust), the Third Circle (Gluttony), the Fifth Circle (Anger), the Seventh Circle (Violence), and the Eighth Circle (Fraud). Dante attempts to punish people in hell according to the sins they committed on Earth. 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”).
Hostility or Compassion? Dante Alighieri, was exiled from Florence, Italy, because of politics, after he was exiled he wrote an epic about his view of Hell. In the epic, The Inferno, Dante, the protagonist, strays from the right path, so Virgil, his guide takes him through Hell to show him that he needs to get back on the path of God. However during the epic, Alighieri shows compassion and hostility to certain sinners through his protagonists actions, diction and extra punishments. Such sinners he felt compassion or hostility to are Filippo Argenti, Ser Brunetto Latino, and Bocca Degli Abbati.
One of the major themes of Dante’s Inferno is “Separation from God”. Separation from God Leads to Sorrow. Dante himself said that the main points of his Divine Comedy as a whole was to liberate living human beings from unhappiness and to take them to the state of happiness (Cantos 1-5). The Inferno gives to that purpose in many ways, but possibly most importantly by the way it exemplifies the theme that separation from and denial of the divine "love that moves the sun and the other stars" leads certainly to unhappiness, and the more intentionally one selects to harm oneself in other words suicide, and also harm others in an attempt to get happiness by focusing on the ego instead of on divine love, the more one actually moves away from life
1. In the epic poetry, The Inferno of Dante translation by Robert Pinsky (1320), Dante Alighieri implies that the sinners in Hell deserve the punishment that they get because of the bad decision(s) that they committed on the mortal world. Alighieri supports this claim by emphasizing how the sins of the sinners in the ninth circle were so bad that their punishment is well-deserved and that can be applied to all of the sinners throughout Dante’s journey. The author purposely emphasizes the sinner’s sins of betrayal in order to show that their decisions were so detrimental and overall so bad that a punishment did not seem like a choice but rather a necessity. The intended audience appears to be those who do not see their mistakes and that believe that their punishment is too harsh just as it is seen with the story of Alberigo where he does not see the extent of his sin and audaciously thinks of his punishment as too severe.
One of the most obvious ones can be found in the lines, “Are you already standing, / already standing, o Boniface?” (Inf. 19.52-53). In this scene, Pope Nicholas III, mistakenly identifies Dante as Boniface VIII. Through this, Dante not only criticizes Pope Nicholas III, but also attacks Pope Boniface VIII, who was still alive at the time, for his misconducts against the Church. Pope Boniface VIII is known have been one of the most controversial and corrupt popes in history, so understandably “to Dante he became the symbol of the grossest corruption and was the object of the poet’s unrelenting and ferocious scorn” (Horne 280).
Gauging Evil Do you remember that time you offered to give your sibling something in exchange for them keeping their mouth shut about something they saw you do? That small fraudulent act would land you right down in Circle Eight, Bolgia Five of Hell in Dante’s Inferno. Now that may seem like severe over punishment, but it has it's reason. In The Inferno by Dante Alighieri sinners are placed in concentric rings all approaching the center of Hell. The rings are ordered not by the severity of the crime, but by the darkness of the heart of the sinner.
Not surprisingly then does Dante put his enemies, corrupt politicians, in Hell. Inferno begins by following Dante as he falls from his path of moral truth. Sin has obstructed his path to God. We never know what type of sin Dante has committed, this is not important, he has simply strayed from the straight path. Because the hero of the Inferno is also the writer, we have to look at both aspects of him, Dante the author and Dante the character.
Selfish Desires Selfishness has caused the downfall of countless characters throughout a multitude of literary works. This selfishness is also what usually precedes a character’s isolation due to the consequences of their actions. One example of this can be found in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein when Victor Frankenstein defies the natural order to accomplish his personal goals. Likewise, in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Mariner makes a fatal mistake of performing a selfish action without thinking of the consequences. These works use the character’s actions and the main characters to explore how selfish decisions leads to one’s own isolation and the destruction of those around them.