Literary Analysis: The Odyssey and Dante’s Inferno Name: Course: Institution: Instructor: Date: Themes are fundamental and universal ideas that are explored in literary works. The epics of The Inferno by Dante and The Odyssey by Homer are two different stories with themes that that have some similarities while others have distinction. In The Odyssey, the central point is Odysseus struggling to go back home. In Inferno, Dante is the main character who is fighting between good and evil, which translates to be the theme of the story. Dante explores deeply the Christian hell and heaven, which includes the immediate Purgatory.
In Dante’s Inferno, he writes about his journey through hell for the purpose of recognizing his sins. He goes through this journey with Virgil, a voice of reason for Dante. Dante meets people through his journey of the many circles in the Inferno that lead him down into the center of hell, where Satan is. Satan is seen as being monster-like with three heads, representing a mocking of the Trinity and blowing his wings around the cocytus river. The final thing seen here is the fact that Dante’s description of Satan is a bit disappointing compared to the other descriptions he has written about the inferno.
Whether this was a prophetic revelation given by God, or retribution to his enemies’ Dante’s Inferno challenges the political and religious powers of the day and putting them in the worst possible light. Dante gives himself the liberty of being the protagonist as he assess his victims of Hell. One cannot help at times in taking pleasure in watching the David’s overcome the Goliaths. The problem with Dante’s Inferno is the setting of Hell is so vivid and graphic it leaves the reader feeling sympathetic to all involved. Some of Dante’s biases are clearly shown by placing certain sins committed by people in different levels.
In Dante’s Inferno, Dante thoroughly describes what he believes Hell to be. He lists many sins, along with their punishments and placements in Hell. Strangely enough, Dante does not have a specific circle for idolatry, the worship of idols, or something other than God. This is thought to be strange because idolatry is generally considered a grave sin. One possible explanation of this is that each sin in itself can be viewed as a form of idolatry.
As Louis L. Martz dictates in his piece titled, “Paradise Lost: The Realms of Light,” Satan’s descent into Hell, following banishment from Heaven, catalyzes the entrance of light and dark imagery into the novel. Satan, now barred from the, “happy Realms of Light,” recognizes his separation from his former alliance with the divine essence (qtd in Martz 72.) In his brief period of grief, Satan finds himself struggling towards the light that radiates from Heaven, signaling the presence of innate light still within the fallen being. However, this light soon becomes squandered when Satan finds it, “better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven,” (1.263) In his decision, the prevalence of darkness within Hell increases and eventually seeps into the secular realms created by God. However, the analysis of these created realms as well as Heaven, the prime radiant domain of God, and the placement of such imagery in these realms remains pertinent as
Ex1 Diction in Canto 29 accentuates the Alchemists’ gruesome suffering. Elab Virgil guides Dante into the last Bolgia of the eighth circle, leading them to the Alchemists. As they approach, “shrieks and strangled agonies shrill through [Dante]” (29.43) leaving him with a significant amount of pity that his “hands / flew to [his] ears” (29.44-45). Specifically, the words “shrieks” and “strangled agonies” create a sorrowful tone. Dante’s word choice here actually puts the reader into the story because of their ability to hear the sinners’ agony.
God’s Justice in Inferno One of the most significant themes, if not the most significant theme within Dante’s Inferno is the perfection of God’s divine justice. Dante expressees divine justice within Inferno in a multitude of ways, with one of the the most prominent examples being the overall structure of Hell and how the punishment for the sinners (perfectly) reflects upon the sin. To the modern reader, Hell likely seems more like an act of cruelty than divine justice, much less a product of God’s love. At first,the torments that the sinners are subjected to seems extreme and grotesque. But, as the poem continues to progress, it becomes quite clear the there is a perfect balance within God’s justice as the degree of each sinner’s punishment perfectly reflects upon the gravity of the sin.
Virgil is the only character besides Dante to appear all The way through Inferno. As he protects and guides Dante through the world of sin, he proves himself to be sober, measured, resolute, and wise.Virgil not only serves as Dante's guide through the physical route of hell, but reinforcing its moral lessons as well. He was sent to Dante from Heaven by St. Lucy and Beatrice. Virgil plays the role of inspiration to Dante. For instance, Dante is metaphorically depicted as a poet in the Purgatono.
Dante’s Tour through Hell Dante’s Inferno is a narrative, poetic adventure through the nine different layers of Hell. With Virgil as Dante’s guide, Dante encounters all sorts of suffering, “[E]xpect to see to see the suffering race of souls who lost [God]” (Puchner et al. 1607), while interacting with those which are called ‘shades’. Some of these shades Virgil urges Dante to have limited, to no conversations with for various reasons; yet, many are recognizable to Dante and their lot is understood. While reading Dante’s Inferno, the reader experiences that Dante was unaware that he was redirected from a righteous path, “Midway along the journey of our life I woke to find myself in a dark wood, for I had wandered off from the straight path” (Puchner et al.
In The Wager, Myers uses the story of Michael Steel to reveal how to live by Jesus’ instructions from The Sermon on the Mount despite the insufficiency of human action alone to do so. The story begins with dialogue between God and the Devil. The Devil claims that a person cannot live by the demands outlined in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In terms that echo the deal made in the Book of Job, God gives the Devil domain over Michael Steel, a successful actor that is in the running for an Oscar, to try and prove his point. Steel decides to live by Jesus’ commands and then is in constant contact with the words of The Sermon on the Mount on the radio, television, and in his own reading.
People want to be that believer that will be saved from Jesus Christ and be sent up to heaven to not have to bear with the years of destruction that many non-believers have to face. The Rapture returns all believers in Christ from the Earth which is described in the bible by 1Thessaloinians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. The second coming is when Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist and destroy Evil which is described in the bible in Revelation 19:11-16. Either way this sounds like a waiting game for many Christians and many non-believers because basically we could wake up tomorrow with friends and family who have disappeared and others are left on earth with the wonder and thought of what’s going to happen to them. I don’t judge those who are religious and I definitely don’t want to put anything on the back burner but personally I don’t know how I feel about the Rapture.
God begins clarification of man’s place in the world with the origins of sin beginning with stories of Adam and Eve and continuing throughout the Bible. These stories are directly followed by stories of God’s wrath, grace and mercy. With reference to the book of Romans, there are multiple instances where sinful human identity is refined. One of the most direct acknowledgements of sin in Romans is in verses (3:10-18) “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God… There is no fear of God before their eyes.” This is a powerful commentary of the time that directly relates to this day in age. Human identity is now just as sinful, if not more so, than it was during Paul’s time in Rome.