Contrapasso In Dante's Inferno

Good Essays
In the classic epic poem Dante’s Inferno the residents of Hell receive eternal punishment. However, each sin has a different everlasting consequence. The method of justice used to decide the tortures is called contrapasso. Contrapasso is an Italian term meaning to suffer the opposite. Damned souls in Dante’s Inferno suffer retributions that are exactly opposite or closely related to their crimes against God and man. This just system did not originate in any man made book. God told mankind of his use of Contrapasso in his book, the Holy Bible. The Lord inspired Moses to write fitting punishments for violent crimes in the Pentateuch. Moses wrote, “Anyone who hits a person and kills him must be put to death” (New International Version,…show more content…
In Dante’s Inferno each sin gets its own individual type of punishment. The sins and the punishments get worse deeper into Hell. Contrary to this, it is made apparent in the Bible that God does not view one sin as worse than the other. The New Testament says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (New International Version, James. 2.10). A verse like this shows even one sin is enough to separate us from God, making any man made hierarchy between sins unnecessary. Fortunately, God graciously sent his son to die on his creation’s behalf so that whoever accepts him will not have to be punished for their own sin, but will be with God forever in Heaven. The forgiveness of sins and the equality between them does not suggest contrapasso. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Contrapasso is used, eternally, for only one sin. If a person were to reject God’s salvation the individual’s sins would not be forgiven and they would be separated from God forever. This punishment reflects the crime, mankind rejects God and God rejects mankind. It may seem like rejecting God is a greater sin then the others because the punishment is so great, but it is not. One must keep in mind that all sins lead to the same punishment if not for God’s grace which is rejected in this
Get Access