Examples Of The Contrapasso In Dantes Inferno

1056 Words5 Pages
Criticisms of established ideas and practices are is most effective when it is specific, objective and directed towards the subject. Whether it is an editorial attacking the way a president is running the country, or a movie reviewer negatively rating a movie, addressing the issue directly allows for the most powerful delivery of criticism. In Canto XIX of Dante’s Inferno, Dante travels through the Third Bolgia of the 8th circle of hell. In this Bolgia, Dante attacks the practice of simony, the act of selling religious offices or favors for money named after Simon Magus. It's clear to the audience that Dante is against the practice as he utilizes apostrophes to interrupt his narrative in order to rebuke Simony and the sinners, allusions of specific religious figures to provide context for the sin, tone to emphasize his stance on the issues as well as, contrapasso to illustrate the punishment a simonist deserves.…show more content…
In addition to the sinners being upside down, Dante Narrator noticed that “... feet and legs...twitched and shoot because the soles of both feet were aflame” (Dante, The Inferno, Trans. Musa). This punishment is a direct inversion of the events of the Pentecost, a religious event where disciples of Jesus received fire on their heads from the Holy Spirit. This ironic punishment further plays with the idea that since simonists went against Christian Doctrine while living, in the cold world, they will face a punishment that are inversions of Christian Doctrine. This allusion was specifically included by Dante because of how many people knew of the Pentecost during Dante’s time. The inclusion of this allusion allows Dante to add a punishment without explaining the reasons for the punishment directly, allowing him to deliver a concise narration and attack against corruption and
Open Document