How Were They Unjustly Treated In Dante's Inferno

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Condemned

In Dante’s Inferno, we are guided through the nine appalling rings of hell. As we make our way through, we see many fallen heroes and heroines from Greek and Roman mythology. In the second ring of hell, we are escorted to the famous lovers, Cleopatra and Antony, Francesca and Paulo, and Helen and Paris. Through the Inferno, we understand the crimes and retributive justice of those condemned in eternal suffering and question if the punishments are appropriate. In the ravines of hell many people are punished; adulterers, suicides, and others who were not grateful for their lives on earth. Were the people in Dante's hell deserving of their consequence or were they unjustly treated? First, we delve into the story of the two lovers,
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They are only permitted to inform the disciplinarians, the harpies, that one of their twigs is broken. They are transformed into trees, and are stuck in one spot never to move again. This is just, because by committing suicide, they gave up their will to live. They freely chose to have their wills stripped from them by extinguishing their lives and committing their souls to eternal suffering. As it truthfully states in the Catechism, “It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations.” The suicides think only of their own suffering and forget about those who depend on them. They leave broken hearts and many obligations behind by opting to end their lives and, therefore, leave their responsibilities to others. Instead of looking towards divine power and choosing to use their talents to serve others, they myopically gaze inward and focus on their suffering, finally deciding to end their lives. Human beings, by the love of God, were given free will, to move, speak, and go where they please. The suicides, however, rejected this gift and in turn were turned into trees. Trees cannot move freely; they go where the wind blows or where the earth shifts. They are completely at the will of the one who owns them. A child could come and throw rocks and sticks at them, and in the case of the suicides, the harpies could set fire to their branches, yet they could not yell and move to ease the pain. All they can do is endure the punishment they brought upon
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