Comparison Of Dante's Inferno And The Two Towers

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In the excerpts from Dante Alighieri’s epic poem, Dante’s Inferno, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, The Two Towers, each author conveys a message for the audience. The characters in Inferno are traveling to the center of all sin, whereas the characters in The Two Towers are traveling to the city of Mordor to destroy the ring of power. Each journey is lead by a knowledgeable guide who helps the main character find their way. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, in the novel are traveling to the city of MOrdor to destroy the ring of evil power, and Dante, led by Virgil, is going to the ends of Hell. The descriptions of the landscape and the dead suggest that each author has a warning for humankind: Dante illustrates the personal consequences of sin while…show more content…
When Dante enters the 9th circle. He sees “a thousand faces discolored so by cold.” The imagery of this description shows how many people are being punished and the extent of their punishment. The punished ones are so cold that their faces are visibly discolored. This illustration of the punishment is a warning to the readers of what will become of them if they continue to commit sins. The punished “lie supine” as “the tears that they shed knot instantly in their eye-sockets.” Their physical position exhibits their vulnerability. The knotting, or freezing, of their tears illustrates their pain and suffering of being in Hell, and is an example to the non-sinners of what might happen to them. In a similar manner, Tolkien describes the “dead faces in the water” as “grim faces and evil, noble faces and sad.” They too are rotting away and suffering in the water. The “tricksy lights” around the water lure one to look into it, but if they do, they will be dragged into the dark waters, “glazed with grimy glass.” Dead bodies have been abducted by cunning spirits to take over them, as a horrific result of the war. Tolkien and Dante both use descriptions of the dead to warn humanity against the consequences of war and sin.
In conclusion, both authors’ descriptions help to add to the warning they each have to humankind. They warn, using specific examples, that if one takes part in either sin or war, they will end up suffering. Through their writing, Dante and Tolkien remind us all that every action we take comes with certain consequences that may or may not be what we

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